Hope of cycling across Channel punctured

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The Independent Online
IT WAS a venture that summed up the best of British eccentricity - Scott Bonnar had planned to "cycle" across the English Channel.

Sadly, he had to abandon his attempt yesterday after being foiled by tides and technical difficulties.

The 36-year-old computer draughtsman had spent seven years and pounds 7,000 building his 18ft-long Bycoo, a cross between two canoes and a bicycle.

On Thursday night he set off in good spirits from Cherbourg, convinced he could become the first person to "cycle" across the busy shipping channel. But it did not go to plan.

Technical hitches meant the craft was not travelling fast enough to enable Mr Bonnar to complete the attempt and, after safety advice, the crossing to Poole in Dorset was abandoned.

Freda England, the spokeswoman for the bid, said Mr Bonnar was bitterly disappointed but not completely downhearted. She said: "He was only able to do three knots when he really needed to be doing four or five. What with the tides it would have taken him around 22 hours to complete the crossing and it was decided that was just too long to be pedalling.

"Obviously Scott is very downbeat because a huge amount of time and dedication had gone into this effort."

Mr Bonnar had trained for the event with arduous eight-hour walks up and down the Purbeck Hills and by cycling on roads in the New Forest.

It is now uncertain whether he will be attempting another crossing.

Miss England said: "With all these things they cost money. I don't think the team has completely ruled it out but Scott will be sitting down and thinking about it over the next couple of days."

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