Pedal power has produced a successful first attempt of crossing Cook Strait on an e-water bike.
The Waikato based Manta5 team crossed the 26 kilometre piece of water on Tuesday with Hayden Reeves in the saddle.
“Everything went to plan and pretty much as predicted it all worked out perfectly”
Reeves and his support boat left the South Island at 10am and two hours and 28 minutes later they landed on the North Island.
“It was pretty close to what we had targeted and possibly could have done a little bit quicker, but the conditions weren’t as nice as we were hoping for part of it, so we are pretty happy with that.”
Waikato-based company Manta5 launched the first hydrofoil back in 2017, and now they want to see the e-water bike become an endurance bike.
It’s been previously described very much like a plane with the propellers on the front of the wing.
It also employs two carbon fibre hydrofoils similar in appearance and purpose to aerofoils used by airplanes, a similar technology that went into Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup yacht.
Reeves said there weren’t too many nerves especially with the first part of the ride going fairly smoothly.
“It was actually the last seven or eight kilometres the conditions got pretty bad for a little while there, and it was getting quite marginal with riding. If it had been any rougher conditions it would have been near impossible to ride.”
Reeves said the body was pretty good with a little bit of cramping. He compared it to a really hard bike ride with the guys.
“With the slight difference that you can’t stop pedalling obviously, it’s non-stop, there is no rest.”
The team crossed away from marine traffic, with Reeves just seeing a container ship and the Interislander Ferry in the distance.
The previous week a kite surfer had hit a shark in the crossing but no such problem for Reeves – with the only sea life he saw was being a couple of seals at the start of the journey.
The team is pretty happy with how the bike performed.
“I think it has set a good benchmark for what we need to improve and this is only the first product so a good benchmark we can improve on.
“There are a lot of little things that could have some fine-tuning which would help.”