The Gill collection has grown rapidly over recent years and as an increasingly global brand – understanding what people like and why they like it is the key to successfully responding to differing market requirements.
Our policy is never to stand still and we have an ongoing programme of testing and evaluation of new materials, components and manufacturing technology. We work very closely with technology partners, keeping us at the forefront of new developments. As boats are becoming faster and lighter so we too are taking advantage of developments in material and design technology.
Product, fabric and component testing and quality assurance are at the core of all our product development programmes. We believe that no other marine brand invests as much time and resource into testing, with over 25% of our company employed in product design and development. We have our own in-house testing facility as well as working with leading laboratories around the world.
We are able to innovate through understanding the challenges facing our customers. We spend time working with, and often sailing with, those same customers. This challenges our development team to come up with creative and sometimes experimental product ideas. A great example of a proactive product development strategy is the Gill Race Collection.
Inspired by the highest-level match racing and day racing regattas in the best sailing venues around the world, our research and development programme resulted in the aspirational and bold Race Collection. Access to teams in events such as the 52 Super Series, the Extreme Sailing Series and others was a key component of the process, with our product development team being invited behind the scenes in terms of attending briefing sessions, helping with boat maintenance, on-the-water race training and even competing with teams.
Getting so close to today’s top crews allowed us to understand the priorities and requirements of the individual team members, from bowman to helmsman through to the shore crew, for whom we carefully established what they liked and what they didn’t like about their current kit bag. It also allowed teams to challenge us to find design solutions that addressed the rigours of racing at the top of the sport. The end result was a no-compromise, performance Race Collection of co-ordinated team kit. Every design feature had to earn its place and those not deemed necessary were stripped out.
This development process never stops. We continue to learn from our partners on the professional racing circuit. For 2014 we are once again working with our friends at Emirates Team New Zealand supplying all the team requirements for the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series which recently kicked off in Singapore. Working with teams likes this gives us the best-informed feedback with which to reassess our products constantly and identify future development opportunities.
We invite you to read on and find out for yourself why Seahorse is the most highly-rated source in the world for anyone who is serious about their racing.
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