Online editor of Motor Sport magazine Ed Foster and three other adventurers are preparing to take on a monster challenge – in a pedalo that looks like Nessie, the Loch Ness monster – with the help of Caterham.
Ed, Nico Kirby, his sister Natasha Kirby and Sholto Morgan will take the vessel out onto the open seas to pedal 500 miles round the treacherous north coast of Scotland, the first time this has been attempted on a pedalo.
The route encompasses some of the most dangerous waters in the UK.
To get them on their way Caterham helped Southampton University design and then build the skeg – the device that drops the chain drive down to the propeller under the water (photos attached).
A team of marine engineering students at Southampton University have worked tirelessly on the project over the past six months and a crucial part of it was the skeg design and build. Caterham was a perfect partner for the project.
Tom Webb, Caterham Group Head of Communications, explained why various arms of Caterham wanted to help: “When someone presents you with an idea that is so obviously flawed, clearly dangerous and, most of all, very brave, there’s only one course of action to take – help however you can. The fact this incredible adventure is raising substantial sums of money for some very worthwhile causes is a bonus – we want to see the team cross the line and if we can say we’ve helped them do something extraordinary, well that’s just good karma!”
The adventurers aim to raise £250,000 for Cancer Research UK and Parkinson’s UK and following their successful London launch on Sunday May 18th, where the team introduced the mission to media, Team Pedalo is already past £50,000.
The four friends will set off from Inverness on August 1, 2014, and aim to return by August 25, 2014.
Their route will take them down the Caledonian Canal, through Loch Ness and Loch Lochy and out into the Irish Sea. They will then head north, up to Cape Wrath, east to Thurso and round John O’Groats before pedalling south back to Inverness.
The inspiration for the trip came from family members.
Nico and Tash lost their Mum, Antonia, to lung cancer last year. And Ed’s father, John, has been living with Parkinson’s for more than six years.
Ed, speaking at the launch, said: “A normal human being finds it pretty difficult to do something that no one else has ever done. The chances of us beating, say, a 400-metre Olympic record are pretty slim. But a pedalo… weirdly enough, not many people have done challenges on them.
“I do really want to thank everyone at Caterham Composites as without them we wouldn’t be in such great shape for the mission. Their skeg is truly a work of art.”
Natalie Brownless, fundraising manager for Cancer Research UK, said: “This really is going to be a monster challenge. The pedalo is going to be a long way from a boating lake, where they are normally seen.
“We’re really impressed that Nico, Tash, Ed and Sholto are taking this on and very grateful for the money they will raise. We wish them bon voyage!
“Cancer Research UK receives no Government funding so we rely on people like them to help us continue our life-saving work.
Paul Jackson-Clark, Director of Fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to Ed, Nico, Tash and Sholto for taking on such a fantastic challenge for us. We are incredibly grateful to the team for their support in helping us to raise awareness of Parkinson’s.
“Without the continued help of our fundraisers, our vital research work to find a cure and improving the lives of the 127,000 people in the UK who are living with Parkinson’s would not be possible.”
The pedalo has had to be specially built by students from Southampton University to withstand the conditions. A support boat will follow them in case of an emergency.
Please include the following text if you are kind enough to cover this amazing challenge: Text ‘SOAK48 £5’ to 70070 to donate today.
To sponsor the team, visit: www.the500milepedalo.com
Please credit all images to Howard Simmons (www.howardmsimmons.com).