Northwest Passage Sailing: The Expert's View

Last summer, Clara and Christian Dumard set out on an ambitious challenge: to cross the Northwest Passage, without assistance or stopover! The father-daughter duo sailed for three months across the oceans, contending with this passage under extreme weather conditions.

A unique expedition in the heart of breathtaking landscapes, along with particularly harsh temperatures (2 to 3° C in the cabin), strong winds and powerful currents, as well as broad variations in brightness.

Discover their adventure.

Such an adventure requires equipment that can withstand the test of this environment: to conquer the Northwest Passage, Clara and Christian wore E-Sun ™ Polarfun ™ lenses in Costa glasses.

Our experts answer all the questions concerning the technical challenges of this exploit.


What are the consequences of the marine environment on a navigator’s vision?

Vision is an essential sense for a navigator because he observes the sails of his boat, the wind on the waves, the colors on the surface of the water... Thus, the marine environment presents 3 major challenges from a visual standpoint:

  1. The glare of the sun, reinforced by the phenomenon of polarization,
  2. The ocean spray,
  3. The wind.

These 3 phenomena can be bothersome, but can be controlled by wearing glasses with appropriate lenses.


What types of glasses are recommended to meet this sports challenge?

Glare from the sun's reflection on the water is a common problem in water sports, preventing participants from truly focusing on their passion.

 To protect the eyes of sailors, sunglass lenses must be:

  1. Light: the sailor can wear his glasses for a whole day, so they must be able to be “forgotten”;
  2. Durable: in these extreme conditions, glasses are put to a severe test;
  3. Polarizing: beyond the increase of contrasts, they make it possible to distinguish what’s happening on the surface of the water by eliminating reflections. Indeed, glare is unpleasant, especially for sailors. Indispensable at sea!


How is E-Sun ™ Polarfun ™ the perfect technology to improve vision during this crossing?

E-Sun ™ Polarfun ™ offers one main benefit: it enhances visual comfort by reducing eyestrain. These lenses also offer optimal safety with great UV protection. Clarity and vision quality are improved with color enhancement.

Thus, these lenses are particularly recommended for water sports, as well as winter sports and driving.


What is the technical process behind these lenses? Were they specially designed for these extreme conditions?

Natural light rays diffused in space vibrate in all directions. Polarizing lenses are designed to cancel out (reduce, eliminate, counteract…) dazzling reflections. They reduce the impact of the sun’s rays and eliminate glare while preserving clarity of vision and true color perception.


Did you work closely with Clara and Christian Dumard?

We did work closely with Clara and Christian to make certain of their expectations. They asked for high-level (high-performance?) equipment and we had long discussions to fine-tune our proposal. Judging by their feedback, we think we got it right!


How are the lenses designed and manufactured?

Costa, our partner in this adventure, provided dedicated sun lenses called Costa 580 lenses. They were designed by our light experts to enhance colors. They enhance reds, greens and blues while filtering out harsh yellows. This combination is a real must in sailing conditions!


How can specific frames make the difference?

The frames must be comfortable and light, but also fit properly on the face while compensating for sudden movements. They must cover the face sufficiently, but also have ventilation to prevent the lenses from fogging up. And finally, they must be able to withstand the marine environment: the salty air, strong brightness and extreme temperatures!



ESSILOR® SUN SOLUTION™ is the new division of ESSILOR specially focused on advanced sun lens technologies.
We serve all our customers of the sunwear industry, for sports, lifestyle or fashion.

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