Several manufacturers who usually produce rowing equipment are switching their production facilities to make face masks to use during the coronavirus outbreak. With no regattas in the foreseeable future and thinking of ways to help local hospitals and people fighting against Covid-19,  companies have made this effort to assist in a moment of international need. Many of them are not guaranteed for any medical grade standard but they provide a very useful face shield.

Here are some of the initiatives in the spotlight:

In Europe, no country has been such affected by the pandemic as Italy. That is why DiBi, a company that produces rowing clothing near Lake Varese in northern Italy, has decided to provide to its customers fully washable and customed masks. And you can add a company logo - without any additional cost.

In Germany, New Wave, World Rowing’s clothing supplier and producer of rowing sportswear, is producing a washable, polyester facial mask. It can be washed always without losing its properties. These are bio-active (doesn’t allow creation of bacteria Inside/outside), washable at 60°C and therefore reusable and breathable – they don’t retain moisture from breath. There is also a possibility to brand them – if you want give support to your local rowing team or your country.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, JL Racing, based in the United States, has been making face masks for front line workers across the country. They are made with high-performance poly-cotton blend fabrics and quality trims with a build that emphasises conforming fit for high filtration efficiency. If you have a surgical mask or an alternate filter it can be inserted between the layers to increase the filtration efficiency. Now the Philadelphia-based rowing clothing company is expanding their programme directly to its customers, making custom masks for teams, events, boathouses, companies and more.

That’s also what Regatta Sport is doing in Canada. The Canadian rowing apparel company is also making masks. They are delivering to first responders and healthcare agencies, where the need is more important now than ever.

The overall help is not only coming from clothing companies. In the United States, Concept2 has shut down all factory production in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The indoor rowing machine maker has tapped into their supply chain to procure 500,000 masks that they are distributing to healthcare facilities, grocery stores and other local service providers that need masks.

From China, the Chinese Rowing Association has been firmly involved into this battle. As a testimonial of good relationship with the World Rowing Federation, FISA, they sent 250 face masks and ten protective goggles to the FISA staff.

Of course, all companies – like the rowing community – can’t wait to switch their focus back to rowing. But for now, like everybody, they are helping fight the Coronavirus pandemic with every stitch done, every mask completed.