Icom UK are supporting an ambitious project in which two men will attempt to pedal all the way from the Canary Isles to Antigua... in a Pedalo.

Icom UK are supporting an ambitious project in which two men will

attempt to pedal all the way from the Canary Isles to Antigua… in a

Pedalo. The project called Project Torpedalo will see the two friends

hoping to defy the odds and pedal 3000 miles across the Atlantic to

raise £250,000 for charity. Icom have supplied the peddlers with an

IC-M505 combined VHF/DSC transceiver and an IC-M71 VHF Handheld

transceiver completer with associated chargers and spare batteries.

Mark Byass and Mike Sayer, who have the full support of their employer

Bentley Motors, will set off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on 4

December 2011 and hope to arrive in Antigua 38 days later.

This is no ordinary Pedalo. The futuristic 9-metre boat is still in the

design stages (see image above) but it is expected to include an

enclosed cockpit, a self-righting hull with open forward deck area, and a

sleeping compartment to the rear. It will have a beam and a height of

just 1.5 metres and the only power will come in the form of a single

one-gear pedal crankset using Gates two-stage belt drive and a custom

twin-blade low-speed propeller, designed by Bruntons.

The aim of the challenge is to raise £250,000, which will be split

between two charities: The Motor Neurone Disease Association and

Make-a-Wish. The madcap plan is part of the Woodvale Challenge, a

trans-Atlantic rowing race involving around 30 boats that takes place


Mike Sayer said, ‘In the early days of the project, I was researching

the best companies to approach for support with the equipment we needed.

With the extreme nature of what we’re doing, it was important to find

the very best equipment. All internet research pointed to Icom being the

most widely recognised supplier of outstanding marine VHF equipment,

and so they were our number one choice for our radios. Fortunately, Ian

Lockyer felt our project to be worthy of support, and Icom UK were in

fact our very first confirmed kit sponsor.’

He added, ‘The IC-M505

will be our main short-range communications device and will be used to

communicate with nearby vessels, fellow competitors and the support

yachts (and the shore as we approach the finish!). Whenever we spot a

vessel nearby, we’ll always try to make contact with it using our

IC-M505 VHF radio. The IC-M71

forms the emergency, portable backup, should we suffer a boat

electrical system failure or have to abandon ship in an emergency.’

He added, ‘We are hugely grateful to Icom for their support. Their

generosity means that the boat will be equipped with the very best

short-range communications equipment, and by providing this equipment

for free, Icom have helped to ensure that the boat will be equipped

without spending a single pound – maximising the funds that will go to

our chosen charities. As our first formal kit sponsor, Icom associated

themselves with Project Torpedalo right from the beginning of the

project, and for that we will always be thankful!’

To follow the progress of this project go to http://www.torpedalo.com.