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Title: Design of functional racing singlet for the Hong Kong Rowing Team
Authors: Ho, CP 
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: In the past, the athletes of the Hong Kong rowing team purchased racing singlets from overseas companies. However, the team found that there were problems with the singlets, such as poor fitting and scratchiness caused by improper fabrication, seams, and types of stitching. In this project, a totally new uniform was designed that improved all of these aspects. The project team also established a new technical manual as a benchmark which had not been implemented for the Hong Kong rowing team previously.
During the research process, the project team first adopted tailor-made approach (by using a 3D body scanner) to achieve the extreme-fit expectation of each athlete. To improve the function of the singlet, we designed a list of fabric tests to ensure the quality of the materials. Sweating thermal manikins were used to evaluate the thermal comfort of the singlet. Furthermore, UV protection was added in this new prototype. Wearer trials were conducted during the rowers pre-race practices overseas. An online questionnaire was designed for the rowers, and the data was used to evaluate the ultimate performance of the final prototype.
This project successfully received an Innovation and Technology Fund (HKSAR government) for a total amount of over HK$700,000. The impact of the project was not limited to the rowing team winning the first-ever gold medal in the Asian Games 2014; other sports teams have taken the new technical manual as a reference to develop their uniforms. The CEO of the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) “shared the research results and innovative technologies with the trades, to enhance the competitiveness of local textile industry” (see p. 25 - report link). In fact, HKRITA developed another rowing racing singlet for the 2016 Olympic Games by referencing this technical manual and research methodology.
Rights: All rights reserved.
Posted with permission of the author.
Appears in Collections:Design Research Portfolio

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