There has been only one successful recorded crossing of the Atlantic by pedal power alone. This was done by Jason Lewis and Steve Smith as part of their Expedition 360 campaign which saw the pair circumnavigate the globe by manpower alone. The intrepid pair set off on the 4,500 mile leg of their journey from Portugal on the 13 October 1994 and arrived 111 days later in Miami, Florida. This amazing feat provided team Pedal The Pond with enough inspiration to come up with an idea of their own.
The principle aim of the expedition is to get our cause into the public eye to encourage young people to take a pragmatic stance against mental illness. The idea is so maverick in nature that we hope it will generate public interest in both what we're doing and our charity - The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. We are four young men in the demographic that statistics show are the most affected by suicide. We hope that by talking about Mental Health in the public sphere we will encourage more people to get talking as well as educating themselves and others on the issue. We want to use our position alongside the charity to help educate people on the signs of depression, which could help save lives.
In terms of the crossing itself, this route is dubbed in rowing terms as the toughest race on the planet and spans just over 3000 miles from Gran Canaria (28oN 18oW) to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua (17oN 61oW). If successful this will be the first time in human history this particular route has ever been completed by pedal power alone.
The team is hoping to complete the journey in 30-50 days thus creating world records for the fastest pedalo, first four man pedalo, youngest pedaloers, first pedal powered crossing on this route and potentially the fastest man-powered crossing of the Atlantic.
What to expect
Once under way, the Pedal the Pond Team will face a constant battle with sleep deprivation, salt sores, sunburn, blisters, dehydration, rationed food and cramped, wet conditions not to mention extreme weather for at least 35 days. The boys will take it in turn to pedal in pairs two hours on two hours off non-stop, day and night, until they reach Antigua.