Following a successful 2014, with Lizzy Yarnold taking Olympic Gold in Sochi, the British Skeleton team has got the new season off to a racing start.
In December’s season-opening World Cup event at Lake Placid, Lizzy made a triumphant return to the sport taking gold, whilst team mate Laura Deas won silver in the Calgary World Cup in the same month. Tesa, a global market leader in the manufacturer and supply of adhesive tapes, provides its tesa 4651 tape for many parts of the sleds used by the British Skeleton team.
Athletes competing in the skeleton reach speeds of up to 140 kilometers per hour and experience G-forces up to 5G whilst lying face down on what appears to many to be little more than a high-tech tea tray. The premium acrylic coated cloth tape offers high adhesion and excellent tensile strength and is used on the handles of the special grade mild steel saddle, providing a reliable grip on various surfaces ranging from powder coated polymer, zinc or spray paint finishes.
The tape is also used to fasten different types of foam padding on the top of the saddle where the athlete lies. On the bellypan, typically made from carbon fibre sheet or GRP and finished in gel-coat, lacquer or paint, it is used to optimise air flow and speed in general, by covering the holes where the runner fits. It also assists in the ‘push’ start which requires a 20 to 30 metre sprint before the competitor loads on board.
To enhance the aerodynamics further, most of the British athletes apply the tape along the edges of the sled where the bellypan meets the padding. Jeremy Smith, Marketing Manager for tesa UK, says the company has been supporting the skeleton team for eight years. “We follow the team’s progress and are proud to know that tesa products play an important part in helping them to achieve success.”
For more information on Tesa, please visit this website www.tesa.co.uk