Fischer Panda UK is backing fellow marine industry colleague Gareth Reynolds in his attempt to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean and raise vital funds for charity as part of the 2020 Talisker™ Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
Gareth, the Managing Director at Dale Sailing Company Ltd in Milford Haven, who had no previous rowing experience before launching his campaign in 2018, will take part as ‘Team Atlantic Dragon’, setting off on 12th December to head west on the daunting 3000-mile row from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain to Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda.
Driven by his aim to help two causes close to his heart, the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society and mental health awareness, the 31-year-old will be powered by a compact and light weight battery solution supplied by Fischer Panda UK. The Verwood-based complete systems specialist stepped in to provide Gareth with a pair of Mastervolt MLI-E 12/1200 Lithium Ion batteries for installation on his 23ft boat, Joshua.
The practical and safe units from power systems specialist Mastervolt are perfect for coping with the extreme environment of the Atlantic Ocean for two months or more. Storing the energy from the boat’s solar panels, the two-battery solution will reliably power Gareth’s essential electrical communication, navigation and lighting equipment. Crucially, it will also drive his 12V DC watermaker, keeping freshwater storage to a minimum to optimise the boat’s performance.
Gareth, who describes himself as a seafarer born and bred in Pembrokeshire, Wales, said: “I am incredibly grateful to the Fischer Panda team for their support in my upcoming endeavour. After working together professionally for many years, I knew the team at Fischer Panda would be able to help me with the technical expertise and specialist equipment that I was looking for. An ocean row requires a power system that is lightweight, durable, and fast-charging, so the Lithium ion batteries that the team have kitted me up with are the perfect solution. Offering a 70 per cent weight saving over the lead acid alternatives, and superb performance under harsh conditions, these batteries are ideally suited to the job at hand. The ability to monitor the health and charge of the batteries wirelessly via an app is also a huge help when it comes to effective power management on board. I look forward to working together with Fischer Panda on future projects.”
Ideal for mobile applications where long lifespan, light weight, fast charging and small size are key, the Mastervolt MLI-E Lithium Ion battery offers high performance under harsh conditions and is also very safe, with protection against overcharging, deep discharging and overheating. An app enables local onboard Bluetooth wireless monitoring of each individual battery.
Fischer Panda UK’s Technical Sales Manager, David Payne, said: “Fischer Panda has worked with Gareth and the Dale team for many years, so we didn’t hesitate to offer support when we learned of Gareth’s row. We selected the Lithium ion batteries as the best solution as they are one third the weight of even the best lead acid alternatives. With two batteries, Gareth has further confidence and redundancy options should there be a solar panel or wiring problem en-route. Gareth will also download the app so he can wirelessly monitor each individual battery’s health and charge status whilst rowing, plus the data collected can be used to help similar endeavours in the future.”
Gareth is bidding to raise £100,000 for the MS Society to help fund ground-breaking research and its award-winning care and support. After dealing with his own issues with mental health in the past, he also intends to use the campaign to raise awareness and encourage people to talk about their own problems.
To prepare for the challenge, Gareth has completed numerous training rows to rack up sufficient ocean hours, but is prepared for a challenge that will push him to his limits, both physically and mentally. He recently sailed the Atlantic with three family members and has always enjoyed hobbies centred around the ocean.
The annual Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge begins in early December, with up to 30 teams participating from around the world to take on the experience of crossing an ocean in a rowing boat. Raising over €6million for charities worldwide over the past four races, teams can expect to row in excess of 1.5million oar strokes during one of the toughest challenges.
Anyone interested in sponsoring Gareth, or finding out more about his challenge, can visit www.atlanticdragonrow.com or visit the Atlantic Dragon Facebook page.
Fischer Panda UK has full-service capability to supply a range of diesel generators, air-conditioning systems, hybrid electric propulsion systems, integrated mobile power solutions and watermakers for commercial vessels.
For more information about Fischer Panda UK’s range of products, visit www.fischerpanda.co.uk.