Bentley boys to cross Atlantic in a pedalo

Two young engineers from luxury car manufacturer Bentley aim to highlight British engineering talent, raise £250,000 for charity and break a world record as they take part in a gruelling 3000-mile race next year.

Mark Byass and Mike Sayer work at the company's headquarters in Crewe and will race against 25 rowing boats in the Woodvale Challenge Atlantic Rowing Race which happens in December 2011.
They are the first entrants to attempt to pedal their way through the event rather than row, which seems to be an ambitious move - a pedalo has only ever crossed the Atlantic once in 1994, taking 111 days, whereas Mark and Mike are aiming at 40.

The self-designed craft, dubbed the 'Torpedalo', is currently being refined in conjunction with scientists at Newcastle University and will be ready for testing in June.

Quite unlike anything you'll find in Hyde Park, this pedalo will be constructed entirely out of carbon fibre and will include integrated solar panels for electricity generation, a desalination system for making fresh water as well as GPS, radar and satellite phone systems.

They will take turns around the clock in two-hour shifts to row or sleep during the event, and somewhat bizarrely will spend the entire time naked in order to prevent salt sores.

Mike said: "The naked thing always fascinates people! Fortunately we're very good mates, and there's only room for one of us in each compartment, so hopefully it won't be too awkward. It will certainly help us to focus on pedalling and sleeping!"

They aim to raise a quarter of a million pounds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Make-A-Wish Foundation and have constructed a website at where their progress can be tracked.

Autoblog wishes them the best of luck - you wouldn't wouldn't catch us pedalling naked across the Atlantic unless we got really drunk.

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