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Speedo SpeedMask

Date: c 1997
Overall: 235 x 245 x 40 mm, 0.1 kg
Medium: Latex, plastic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Speedo International Ltd
Object Name: Cap
Object No: 00030643

User Terms

    This sliver latex SpeedMask combines a swimming cap design with inbuilt plastic socket lenses. A nosebridge is attached to the two lenses with a twist lock mechanism for adjustment.
    SignificanceThe SpeedMask is an important example of Speedo's technical design developments during the 1990s. The FINA approved mask was used by Australian competitors at the 1998 World Championships in Perth.
    HistoryThe SpeedMask was developed as a technological innovation for elite swimmers by combining a swimming cap with goggles. The mask covers the ears and top of the cheeks, stopping at the tip of the nose. The design aimed to cut down drag around the goggles, smoothing out the water turbulence created by the head when moving through the water. The SpeedMask has received several design awards and was trialed by elite swimmers at the World Swimming Championships in Perth in January 1998.

    The SpeedMask was invented by former Olympic gold medalist, David Wilkie, who was the first person to wear a cap and goggles at an international competition in the early 1970s. Independent testing at the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) showed that eye sockets create 20% of the resistance while swimming. According to MIRA the SpeedMask would smooth out the turbulence between the cap and the goggle, and reduced drag around the eye socket region by 53%. However, it received a mixed reception from swimmers.

    There are two types of SpeedMask. CD01 was designed for sprint events, and has a small socket lens for forward vision, while CD02 was designed for long distance racing and training, and has a wider lens for peripheral vision.
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