What does a Bentley Mulsanne have to do with a pedal-powered boat trip across the Atlantic? Not much -- save for the fact that two intrepid Bentley employees are planning such a journey to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Next year, Bentley engineers Mike Sayer and Mark Byass will embark on a 3000-mile, trans-Atlantic voyage from the Canary Islands to Antigua. The duo aren't harnessing the power of the wind, or calling upon a small trolling motor for propulsion. Instead, they're pedaling vessel across the sea. Both Sayer and Byass hope to make the trip in 38 days, 73 days quicker than the current record for a pedal-powered crossing.
The 30-foot boat, designed by the duo themselves, will be constructed primarily from carbon fiber, but the fully-loaded vessel will still tip the scales at one ton. The ship will be outfitted with electrical gadgets including GPS, a satellite phone, radio, radar, and a video recording system, while the hull shape itself is designed to right itself -- a good thing, considering they'll likely encounter waves up to 40 feet high.
The duo will take turns pedaling, and plan to swap every two hours. In addition to pushing the boat through water, power from pedaling will be stored in batteries, allowing the duo to power their electrical devices, in addition to a water desalination system. The boaters will carry 441 pounds of energy bars, freeze-dried meals, chocolate, peanuts, and beef jerky along to keep themselves powered. That's essential, considering they need to pedal 85 rpm to average a speed of 3.3 mph across the journey. In all, they'll rack up 4.5 million pedal revolutions from start to finish.
Undoubtedly, the project will require a large sum of money, but the pair already has a number of sponsorships, and funding will be directed to both charities once the journey is completed. Sayer and Byass expect to depart the Canary Islands on December 4, and if all goes according to plan, they'll arrive in Antigua in the second week of January.
For more information, visit www.torpedalo.com