3000 mile pedalo journey across the Atlantic for mental health

In memory of Charlie Waller, Max Mossman will set off on a 3000-mile pedalo journey across the Atlantic, voyaging from Gran Canaria to Antigua to raise money and awareness for mental health in young men.


Joining Max on this expedition in January 2018, are Hector Turner, Paddy Johnson and Henry Quinlan, who were inspired to partake in the journey after their friend sadly took his own life, aged 28. This will be the first time the route has been attempted by pedal power alone; the first time four people have ever pedalled across any ocean; and potentially the fastest man-powered crossing of the Atlantic.


The goal is to raise money for the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, which was set up in memory of Charlie by his parents. The aim of the trust is to educate people in recognising the signs of depression, to ensure expert advice is available when people need it, and to equip young people to look after their mental wellbeing. A primary goal of the trust is to contribute towards the removal of the mental health stigma that exists in our society.


The vessel, a 9m x 2m pedalo, made from carbon fibre and powered by a propeller is now under construction, and it is due to be completed by September, with the hull complete and the pedal system being designed by naval engineers in Exmouth. The team will complete the crossing in 2-hour continuous shifts, day and night, as two members of the team  pedal, whilst the other two rest. Battling waves of up to 50 feet, the team expects the journey will take them approximately 40 days to complete, estimating that they will endure over 4,900,000 pedal rotations over a distance that is the equivalent to 5x the distance between Lands End and John O’Groats.


Max passionately explained: “All of the team have close friends who have been affected by depression and mental illness, noticing the profound effect it can have on families. In many suicide cases the family often says that they had no idea the sufferer had any problems. We want to do what we can to help put a stop to cases like this, we believe it is vital that sufferers understand they are not alone and help is available.


He continued: “Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 35 and it is imperative to stand up and talk about mental health symptoms in the public sphere. Michelmersh, as a business are keen to support sufferers of depression and mental health and immediately came on board to support us on our mission and to contribute to the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. Through our campaign’s publicity, our team have already succeeded in highlighting this issue, in helping others to get the help they need before it’s too late. We hope to reach our target fundraising goal and we very much look forward to our voyage early next year!”


Pedal The Pond has already secured sponsorship from a wide variety of companies, including Michelmersh Brick Holdings PLC, which has enabled the team to make the innovative boat-build a possibility. The team raised a spectacular £21,000 for charity in 28 days via a crowdfunding campaign in July, with a target of £200,000 by the end of 2018.


Find out more about Pedal the Pond or the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust on the following links:




Please also donate to their charity at the following fundraising link:


About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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