It has been another busy weekend around the world for Team Orca with so many great results – one of the highlights being Sophia Saller‘s amazing 4th place at the ITU World Triathlon Cape Town with a speedy time of 1:50:07. With just 16 seconds between 1st place and Sophia, this was really a terrific result for 2014’s U23 World Champion in only her 2nd every ITU World Tri Series race! We’re sure her Orca Alpha wetsuit provided her the edge she needed for a great start to her day
Meanwhile over in Asia at Challenge Taiwan, Orca ambassador Mike Phillips had the race of his life to finish 2nd, just over 4 minutes behind the race winner fellow Kiwi Terrenzo Bozzone, with Dylan McNeice rounding out the all Kiwi podium for this race. The three Kiwi’s fed off each other for the bike and managed to keep it together through the run, with Mike gaining on Terrenzo near the end. The tropical conditions of TaiTung in Taiwan are a far cry from NZ’s wintery weather here at the moment, so Mike did well to excel in these race conditions. Congrats Mike on a great race!
Our very own Product Manager Olivier Courret also had a great race at Challenge Taiwan winning his age-group and coming 4th amateur overall! Congrats Olivier!
Over in the Canary Islands, Asa Lundstrom was clearly stoked with her 6th placing at Challenge Fuerteventura. This was one position higher than her 7th placing at this event in 2014 so great to see her improving year on year in what was a brutally hot day out on the course.
To complete this weekend’s results we saw Spanish paratriathlete Dani Molina come 4th at the European Duathlon Champs in a time of 01:15:50 – check him out in action below!
After what has seemed like a long winter it was a busy weekend for Team Orca with so many events going on around the world with our athletes in them! So we thought to keep it simple we’d give you everyone’s results right here in one place!
All the way over in Malta we had one of our newest athletes to join Team Orca, Spanish athlete Roger Serrano, take out 2nd place at Xterra Malta! This 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike, 11km off-road run course was obviously a good one for this U23 Tri Cross Champion and signals a great start to the season for him!
Meanwhile over in South Africa, Susie Cheetham (nee Hignett) killed it in her second ever full Ironman with a stunning third place! After exiting the water over 7mins down on the leader Jodie Swallow, it was surely Susie’s run that got her on the podium – with a time of 3:03:38 she had the fastest pro female run of the day to achieve her final finish time of 09:33:01. We look forward to seeing what Susie has in store for the rest of the season if this is how she kicks it off at Ironman South Africa!
We love that we have athletes representing Orca all over the world and there was lots happening in New Zealand this past weekend with the ITU WTS Auckland in town! Unfortunately British Orca athlete Philip Graves had a bit of a bad day with a DNF. But it was great to see NZ up and comer Francesca Stafford achieve the silver medal in the Oceania Champs!
The start of the Northern Hemisphere summer tri season is fast approaching and so with it comes that tricky question “What wetsuit to wear?” We’re sure you’ve been hearing about Orca’s latest 2015 collection and their revolutionary development of the 0.88Free technology featured in the Alpha and the Predator and are wondering what all the fuss is about…But if you haven’t – check out the cool video below featuring 2014 Ironman World Champ Sebastian Kienle and former ITU World Champ Non Stanford wearing their favourites! You can also read more about the specific features of these exciting new suits here.
But we know that you don’t want to just read about it, or hear other people’s opinions – you want to try it out and feel this pure freedom for yourself right? Help is here! Orca wetsuit demo days are kicking off in the US, UK and across Europe from today! Check your country below to see where and when you can put these new suits through their paces and find out why everyone is raving about them!
Recently we flew in triathlon’s leading magazine and website journalists to the Playitas Sports Resort in Fuerteventura to show off our 2015 range. Not only were we showing the fastest most technologically advanced wetsuits available, but offering freedom of choice and the most flexible arms and shoulders ever seen on a wetsuit. For 2015 we knew we were setting a new industry standard when we unveiled the most innovative and game changing wetsuits and apparel available.
It was an exciting time and joining the journalistswere some of Orca’s team members including Ironman world champion Sebastian Kienle from Germany, 2013 ITU world champion Non Stanford from Great Britain, two-time Ironman champion Asa Lundstrom from Sweden and 2009 Ironman UK champion Phil Graves from Great Britain.
Non Stanford, Sebastian Kienle, Heather Sellars and blogger Isabel del Barrio
We were proud to show off our revolutionary 0.88mm Free material found in the arms, shoulders and side panels of our new Predator and Alpha suits. At just 0.88mm thick it’s the most flexible and stretchy fabric ever seen in a wetsuit, yet remains warm thanks to a patented heat reflective titanium coating. With high buoyancy and low drag this minimalist material provides the ultimate feel for the water and unparalleled freedom of movement. Such flexibility also reduces fatigue, which allows athletes to hold an efficient stroke for longer, resulting in faster times.
The Orca Alpha and Predator suits, new for 2015
Helen Webster, editor of 220 Triathlon, said: “Both (the Predator and Alpha) feel remarkably flexible through the arms and shoulders making arm return very fluid and natural and the new graduated neck is comfortable.”
Herbert Krabel, from Slowtwitch.com, said: “When touched it (0.88mm Free) indeed felt like nothing this editor ever had his hands on, and this material is exclusive for Orca through 2018.”
This year our flagship Predator gets a complete revamp using the new ultra flexible 0.88mm Free in the arms, shoulders and side panels. It also features a never seen before Core Lateral Stabilizer (CLS) that helps to stabilise the core by preventing lateral movement to improve body position and reduce over-reaching.
Evan Rudd, from Triathlete (US) magazine, said: “The Core Lateral Stabilizers aren’t just some gimmicky feature made up by the marketing department–it feels like your lower body is on a surfboard in the sense that it keeps you streamlined, yet you’re free to roll during the glide phase of your stroke.”
Evan Rudd tries on his new Orca Wetsuit
We also demonstrated first hand how our Exo-Lift neoprene on the Predator offers greater buoyancy because of zero water absorption and how it provides stiffness in the legs to reduce inefficient kicking from the knees. With all these time enhancing features this is the suit choice of Sebastian Kienle in 2015.
Sebastian said: “I don’t come from a swimming background and have a love-hate relationship with wetsuits. With the new predator you have all the benefits of wearing a wetsuit, but at the same time it feels like you’re swimming without one, only faster.”
Sebastian testing the new Orca Predator suit
In the new Predator Sebastian found he had a stronger kick and his core was more stable. During testing he was 2.1 per cent better in the Predator over the new Alpha thanks to the better core stabilization. This is great news for all those who don’t come from a swim background.
In contrast our new Alpha is a lightweight super flexible high-end suit aimed at the fastest most efficient swimmers like Orca’s Non Stanford and Andrew Starykowicz. Like the Predator it uses 0.88mm Free in the arms, shoulders and side panels, but does away with the added buoyancy and stability to compliment good technique to move even faster through the water.
Non said: “The new alpha is revolutionary in open water. I have always found wetsuits restrictive, especially in the arms and shoulders, and freedom here is important for fast swimming. You have to feel confident and free in the suit that you’re wearing and the new Alpha provides that. The new material on the arms and shoulders is incredible. I’ve never swum in a wetsuit like that ever before.”
Non wearing her suit of choice, the new Alpha
From our research with female athletes and input from our professionals including Non Stanford and Åsa Lundström we have tailored our neoprene to suit the female body. Orca is proud to offer all of our wetsuits as a female specific option with all the same great features as the men’s suits. We also know that females have a different buoyancy make up and have adjusted this to offer the perfect body position in the water on the Sonar and 3.8 suits.
Something completely new for us this year is the Open Water. The new high-viz Open Water with its retina burning finish allows users to freedom to capture the spirit of the sea in a safe and secure way. With children’s sizes available, safe and highly visible open water swimming is now something the whole family can enjoy.
Jay Prasuhn, from Lava magazine, said: “This year, Orca returns to its familiar place as a technological leader. Our prediction? For 2015, Orca will be the talked-about brand. Among pros, among age groupers, among retailers. Just as we experienced, you’ll only need see the suit in hand to guess it’s improved in a tangible, significant way. And a swim in it will confirm that suspicion.”
Asa in her Open Water wetsuit
We were pleased that the journalists responded well to our new line up. Rather than just talk about the suits, we got them in both the pool and open water to get a real feel for the new suits. It wasn’t all serious business, though. For fun we put together relay teams of journalists and our pro athletes, and put on our own triathlon event. After a hard fought battle it was the team with Antonio Esteban from the Triathlonchannel.com, Raul Casanas (Orca marketing director) and Non Stanford who took top honours. It was lots of fun and the journalists got to test our range in a race situation.
Asa and Lava´s John Duke and Jay Prasuhn, among others, excitedly awaiting the race
We also have to say how proud we are of pro athletes. Not only were they great ambassadors for Orca, but they also worked extremely hard during their time at Playitas. As well being part of our daily programme with the journalists, they also got up early and put in the hours doing extra photo and video shoots. Often they repeated things many times to get the perfect shot or edit. While the world sees the glamorous side of pro athletes travelling the world and getting lots of free kit, we know how hard team members are prepared to work for a brand they believe in. The world doesn’t see their 5.30am alarm call or them shivering in a boat after being in and out of the water for hours for a photo shoot. That said, our pro athletes, the journalists and our team, who worked long and hard to make this happen, all had a great deal of fun.
What a great day in Kona it was for Team Orca! Most specifically, of course, the amazing win for Sebastian Kienle! After a weaker swim, Sebi, known as a super cyclist in the sport, worked hard through strong winds to catch up with fellow Orca team mate Andrew Starykowicz on the bike and they rode #1 and #2 together for a while. Unfortunately Andrew was struggling with a back injury and dropped off the pace, eventually finishing his day at the end of the bike course. Very disappointing for him!
Sebi however powered ahead – coming off the bike in a time of 4:20:46, with a lead of more than 3 minutes back to his next competitor. A super speedy transition helped along by no kit change required saw Sebastian starting out at a pretty fast pace on the marathon. Running the first 3 miles at a 6.05/mile pace he was tracking for a sub 2h40 marathon! Although he slowed this pace down a bit from this through the remaining miles, taking the aid stations at a slow pace to make sure he stayed hydrated and as cool as possible, his chance for a win never looked threatened.
After a glorious final run down Ali’i Drive, Sebastian crossed the finish line in 8.14.18 to take the win!
Meanwhile fellow Orca athlete Asa Lundstrom was still battling it out on the race course through the strong winds. Her debut at Kona, Asa made up ground through out the whole race – ending up a very credible 17th in a time of just over 9h31. We’re sure this is just the beginning for Asa!
Check out Sebastian’s post-race interview here where he explains how much his Ironmind inner strength was what allowed him to claim this win after an upsetting result at 70.3 World Champs in Mont-Tremblant several weeks earlier.
Orca announced today that they have taken back the distribution in Canada of Orca products. Former distributor in the Canadian region, Podium Sports have done a great job in the past, but due to the huge growth of the triathlon market – both in an increase of high-profile events, and of regular competitors, they’re no longer able to service this market in the manner that it demands to be successful.
At Orca we acknowledge the importance of this significant market and so believe we’ll be able to better service the needs of the Orca customer through management of the distribution to this market ourselves. We look forward to the coming 2015 summer season and being able to have more direct relationships within the Canadian market. If you’re a Canadian customer or dealer and have any queries, please contact Orbea USA Brand Manager Suzanne Karklins: firstname.lastname@example.org who will be managing this new distribution arrangement and will be happy to answer your questions!
We’re excited to have Orca athlete’s Matt Sharp, Miriam Casillas and Dani Molina all competing in Edmonton and know they’ll do us proud. We’re pretty gutted for fellow Orca athlete Non Stanford not being there due to injury but wish her a speedy recovery!! Remember you can follow the races on Twitter at @WorldTriathlon and live play by plays will be available at @TriathlonLive. Make sure you follow along and cheer on our athletes!!
We know there will be lots of Orca wearing age-groupers there too – so would love it if you can tag us in your pics wearing Orca while at the event. We’d love to see them so much that if you tag orca_triathlon and #orcacanada on Instagram and/or Twitter you’ll go in the draw to win a brand new 2015 Alpha when they’re released early 2015!! So get clicking while you’re there!!
The fun doesn’t end there though – the very next weekend in the gorgeous Mont-Tremblant we will see Sebastian Kienle, Albert Moreno, Andrew Starykowicz and Susie Hignett battle it out with the best for the title of 2014 Ironman 70.3 Champion!! Of course all eyes will be on Sebi as the reigning 2012 and 2013 70.3 Champ! We can’t wait!
Open water swimming in triathlon races is something that can strike a bit of fear into triathlete’s hearts – particularly for beginners or weak swimmers – mainly due to fear of the unknown. But this need not be the case! Gaining confidence in this area by practicing good techniques will help you immensely come race day, and can turn this leg of the race into an enjoyable experience where, by following a few handy tips, you can even find yourself gaining useful advantages over your fellow competitors in the swim!
Our latest Orca Flash tip offers you secrets that pro’s like Olympian and 70.3 Champion Courtney Atkinson have picked up over the years that will help you to be faster in your open water swim with no extra effort required!! Like the sound of that?
Three key tips Courtney highlights are:
1. Open Water Entry and Exit Technique
2. Dolphin Diving to get a head start on your fellow competitors
3. Picking Landmarks to aim for before the start so that you swim straight
Check out this video as Courtney explains these more: