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Pedal the Ocean

Equipment Failure Forces Early End to Vancouver Island Record Attempt

Calgary, Canada
Equipment Failure Forces Early End to Vancouver Island Record Attempt

A mechanical failure thwarted Calgary endurance athlete Greg Kolodziejzyk's human-powered nautical circumnavigation of Vancouver Island Oct. 31st.

"When you attempt something that has never been done before, you are going to be learning a lot from trial and error," said Kolodziejzyk. "I'm very happy that we were able to 'learn' about this problem with the gear box before my Hawaii crossing!" Crucial drive train components failed near Buckley Bay, 3.5 hours and roughly 17 kilometres after launching from the Comox (BC) Harbour. Kolodziejzyk and his partner in the record attempt, trans-Atlantic rowing veteran Jordan Hansen, were unable to make onboard repairs, forcing a premature end to the ambitious pedal-powered voyage.

"We were running out of time (for the Vancouver Island attempt) and I made some assumptions about our mechanical equipment," explains Greg. "It took us twice as long to build this state of the art human powered boat as expected and while it was always my plan to thoroughly test this boat on Glenmore reservoir here in Calgary before setting out for sea trials on Vancouver island, we didn't finish WiTHiN until late in October. Most lakes around here start freezing up in November, so we sort of rushed the sea trials without properly testing the drive leg out on a lake here at home first."

The Vancouver Island circumnavigation was Kolodziejzyk's first chance to put his boat to the test in ocean conditions and an opportunity to prepare for an even more ambitious journey, called Pedal The Ocean - a solo Pacific crossing from Victoria to Hawaii, currently planned for June 2010. Greg says the drive leg problem is now solved and his team is busy building a spare unit to take in the boat during their next attempt at sea trials. He plans to bring Within back to Vancouver Island in January, for further testing in the Georgia Strait.

"I learned a TON on this trip," says Greg. "Within, designed by award-winning naval architect Stuart Bloomfield cruises along at an easy 4 knots - about as fast as a small sail boat. It is stable and fully enclosed for protection against the harsh ocean environment. It's also very comfortable and easy to maneuver. I spent a night in the sleeping cabin and it is very cozy. I finally got a chance to experience what it is like to live and travel in this incredible machine and I can't wait to do it again."

Greg Kolodziejzyk


Greg Kolodziejzyk is a successful entrepreneur who informally retired from the business world when he was in his mid-30s - to focus on improving his health and meeting new challenges. He started by signing up to compete in a triathlon. After losing 50 pounds racing and training, he went on to complete 12 Ironman distance triathlons, with a 4th place finish in his division at Ironman Arizona in 2006 earning him a coveted slot to compete at the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii. Greg has also completed a dozen marathons and 2 ultra-marathons. He is currently training to complete his first 100-mile ultra-marathon.

No person in history has traveled further under his own power in one day, on land or water than Greg. In July of 2006, Greg earned his first world record by pedaling his human powered vehicle called Critical Power 647 miles (1041 km) in one day around a race track in Eureka, California. In September of 2008, he did it again, but this time on water when he pedalled his human powered boat Critical Power Two 152.3 miles (245.16 km) in 24 hours around a circular lake course in Whitefish, Montana earning him his second world record. Greg has been featured in the Guinness Book of World Records, Men's Journal magazine, Popular Science magazine, and on the Discovery Channel.

Greg's state-of-the-art human powered boat was designed by award winning naval architect Stuart Bloomfield and human-powered boat engineer Rick Willoughby. WiTHiN is 30 feet long by 3 feet wide, weighs 455 lbs, and features a water-tight sleeping cabin, cockpit, and storage compartment. WiTHiN will carry enough dehydrated food for 100 days at sea. Fresh water will be supplied via electric desalination plant powered by solar panels. Greg's safety equipment includes a GPS, Satellite phone, survival suit, emergency life raft, and emergency beacons.


Pedal the Ocean
(403) 651-2748

More from Pedal the Ocean:
Endurance Athlete Attempting Record-Setting Ocean Crossing
Endurance Athletes To Pedal High Tech Boat Around Vancouver Island
Equipment Failure Forces Early End to Vancouver Island Record Attempt
Endurance Athlete Plans Unusual Training Session
Adventurer Sets Next Offshore Sea Trial for World Record Human-Powered Ocean Crossing from Canada to Hawaii



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