|SYDNEY, Australia, February 12. IN a four-city debut, Speedo has launched its new suit called the LZR RACER, after being much-hyped for weeks heading into the announcement today. Thus far, the suit has been introduced in Sydney and London.
Swimming World senior writer John Lohn is in attendance at the New York launch and will have a report for our readers soon.
The image to the right is one of Speedo's advertisements for the new LZR RACER, that will appear in the March issue of Swimming World
Daily Telegraph (Includes Australia-based images)
The Age (Includes Australia-based images)
Courier Mail (Includes Australia-based images)
AFP (Includes Australia-based images)
Sydney Morning Herald (Includes Australia-based images)
USA Today (Includes Australia-based images)
Complete Australia-based press release from Speedo follows thanks to Swimming Australia:
With the countdown on for the Beijing Olympics, the world's leading swimwear company Speedo, today launched the first space age Olympic swim suit, the SPEEDO LZR RACER®.
Celebrating its 80th Anniversary, Speedo unveiled the world's first fully bonded, ultrasonically welded swim suit to be worn by the Australian Olympic Team when they swim for gold in Beijing.
Sydney's University of NSW hosted the world wide launch of the SPEEDO LZR RACER® which will now see the suit take off in similar launches in Tokyo, London and New York over the next 24 hours.
American super swimmer Michael Phelps appeared in a spectacular Hologram before Australia's own superstar, swim team captain and two time Olympic 1500m freestyle gold medallist Grant Hackett led a parade of leading Australians, Leisel Jones, Jessicah Schipper, Eamon Sullivan, Stephanie Rice, Bronte Barratt and New Zealand stars Dean Kent and Moss Burmester.
Speedo has harnessed the expertise of the United States space agency NASA amongst a number of international research institutes to create the SPEEDO LZR RACER® - which independent testing has shown to be the world's fastest swimsuit.
ULTRA LOW DRAG PANELS
The SPEEDO LZR RACER® has 10% less passive drag* than Speedo's FASTSKIN FSII (launched in 2004) and 5% less passive drag* than Speedo FS-PRO (launched in March 2007) and has seen swimmers break 21 World records as a result.
Made from an ultra lightweight, low drag, water repellent, fast drying fabric, unique to Speedo, called LZR PULSE, the LZR RACER is the world's first fully bonded swimsuit that is ultrasonically welded and gives the effect of no seams at all.
Ultra low drag LZR Panels are embedded into the base fabric to create a ‘Hydro Form Compression system' helping to compress the entire swimmer's body into a more streamlined shape and enabling them to cut through the water with more power and agility.
Hackett, who will take on a mammoth program in Beijing, from the 400m to the new 10km event and including his assault to become the first man to win three consecutive 1500m freestyle gold medals, has been blown away by the technology.
"It's the best suit yet and looks like something out of a futuristic movie. It feels great. You feel so streamlined through the water, it's like you're cutting through the water like a hot knife through butter," says Hackett.
LIKE SWIMMING DOWN HILL
"In terms of improving performance, I think the Speedo LZR RACER will obviously make a big impact and I don't think we'll be saying ‘Houston we have a problem' because I think the Speedo LZR RACER is out of this world.''
Australia's sprint queen Libby Lenton, who won five gold medals at last year's FINA World Championships – three of them in individual events, the 50 and 100m freestyle and the 100m butterfly - says the LZR RACER is "like swimming downhill."
"I think the Speedo LZR RACER along with all of the Speedo suits that I've worn in the past, just gives me confidence going into my races that I'm wearing the very best suit available. I know it's going to work brilliantly," said Lenton.
"It will be very exciting to see what the Speedo LZR RACER and it's athletes can produce because the best athletes in the world will be wearing the best suit in the world so I think there's going to be some pretty amazing results.''
LZR RACER WILL TAKE SPORT TO A NEW LEVEL
US super star Michael Phelps, who already owns six world records and will attempt to win an unprecedented eight gold medals in Beijing, is suitably impressed.
"When I hit the water, I feel like a rocket," is how Michael Phelps describes the LZR RACER.
"Whether it's the extra one-one-hundredth to win a gold medal or to break a world record, I'm confident knowing that I'm wearing the fastest suit known," says Phelps.
‘'Speedo's done so much technology-wise over the past few years, that when I stand up on the block, I know I have the best suit on.''
Phelps has been involved in the suit's development from day one and will be sporting the LZR RACER as he sets out to achieve a world record breaking eight gold medals later this year. "I can't wait to race in it………..this is going to take the sport of swimming to a new level."
FIVE PERCENT MORE EFFICIENT
Speedo's research and development team, Aqualab, have spent more than three years in intensive research and development to create their most hydro-dynamically advanced swimsuit to date.
Speedo scanned the bodies of more than 400 elite swimmers and held technical tests involving more than 100 different fabrics and suit designs in the world's leading flume and test centres.
Their quest to enable swimmers to swim faster than ever before, took them all over the world from the NASA Langley Research Centre to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Otago University in New Zealand and working with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software from ANSYS, Inc., whose technology is also used in F1 motor racing and America's Cup yachting.
The result is an engineered swimsuit whose 3D anatomical shape has a Core Stabiliser with a corset-like grip to support and hold the swimmer so they can maintain the best body position in the water for longer without losing freedom or flexibility of movement.
The LZR RACER's unique design also provides swimmers with up to 5% more efficiency** in terms of their Oxygen intake, enabling them to swim stronger for longer.
"It makes it easier to swim faster," says Rick Sharp, Exercise Physiologist, Iowa State University.
The Speedo LZR RACER has been declared ‘out of this world' by swimmers involved in its development and testing.
BIRTHDAY PRESENT TO THE SWIMMING WORLD
Speedo Australia's General Manger Rob Davies said: "Speedo has been leading the world in swimwear design since 1928 and our commitment to innovation in design and technology is the backbone to everything we do.
"We are particularly proud, in our 80th year, to be launching the Speedo LZR RACER which has broken new boundaries in performance swimwear and which we know will help elite athletes achieve their ultimate performances in 2008.
"It's our 80th birthday present to the world of swimming."
Speedo LZR RACER, which has been approved by FINA (Fédération International de Natation Amateur), will debut at this weekend's NSW Open Championships before it is put to the test at the Telstra Australian Championships – Swimming Selection Trials for the Beijing 2008 Australian Olympic Team at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (March 22-29, 2008). The retail version of the suit will go on sale in May 2008.
Photo By: Speedo