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One man, one boat, one ToughBook and 3,000 nautical miles to row news
Our Corporate Bureau
15 April 2006
New Delhi: Bhavik Gandhi, a former Bombay Scottish student has started a world record attempt for fastest solo Atlantic crossing - the first ever by an Indian. The voyage commences from La Gomera in Spain and ends at Antigua in Barbados.

Gandhi''s sole companion during this expedition will be Panasonic''s rugged waterproof ToughBook CF-29 laptop with built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) as an essential navigational gear and his only connection with the rest of the world. The Panasonic ToughBook CF-29 selected by Ghandhi can work in extreme weather conditions prevalent in Atlantic.

Gandhi will be using a 23-ft rowing boat and will follow a route similar to that taken by Christopher Columbus. He will spend about three months (90 days estimated) at sea rowing solo, non-stop and unsupported, covering a total distance of 3,000 nautical miles (5,000 kilometers). Only 32 people in history have attempted such a record in the past.

In 1966 Chay Blyth and John Ridgway became the first pair to row across the Atlantic in the 20th Century, crossing from Cape Cod to Ireland in 92 days.

"Professional gear is as important as personal grit and I feel quite assured about the expedition armed with a Panasonic ToughBook CF-29," says Gandhi, who seemed confident about his dare devil attempt. "It is the most rugged laptop to withstand the vagaries of the expedition unlike other brands available in the market and as my sole companion, it will not just help me navigate through the Atlantic but also be my only connection with civilization.

"The excitement of starting something new keeps me going - be it business ventures or adventure sports. Nothing is more satisfying than riding on the ocean waves, seeing how controllable they are, or you are. I''ve been training hard for this expedition undergoing various sessions on endurance-sport nutrition, and most importantly, survival training under the expert guidance of my coach Rune Larsson."

Ocean rowing: is the world''s toughest human powered endurance challenge. Relying on muscle-power alone, athletes have to endure extreme weather conditions in the Open Ocean, gale force winds, ships, sharks and icebergs. This sport is unique in terms of its difficulty, exceptional length and demands on physical and mental endurance. Gandhi''s involvement in endurance challenges has spanned distance running, mountain climbing, sailing, trekking through lake Baikal in Siberia in the winter, cycling 3,000 miles from Stockholm to Istanbul and most recently cycling 500 km, the distance from Stockholm to Oslo. Gandhi currently works with the Development Venture Capital Group, involved in telecoms and technology start-ups in developing countries.

Prior to this, Gandhi has been the New Media Specialist at Reliance Infocomm and the founder of a number of technology ventures including Mediacle Networks and DVCG.

The boat: Designed in England, the boat is a 23.5 ft in length, constructed from fibreglass and plywood. It is specially designed to self right in rough seas. It includes a 6ft hatch for storage and shelter in bad weather.

The Route: Starting from La Gomera in Spain to Antigua the route follows a similar route to that taken by Christopher Columbus, finishing 3,000 miles away at Nelsons Dockyard, Antigua in Barbados.

The Panasonic ToughBook CF-29: Shock-and-drop resistant removable 80 GB hard drive designed to withstand harsh usage. Panasonic ToughBooks are subjected to 26 sequential drops onto each face, edge and corner from a height of 3 ft on a two inch-thick plywood over a steel plate over concrete; one hour of vibration per axis simulating 1,000 miles of transportation; 15 minutes of water drip with the LCD open and unit operating; 95 per cent humidity for ten days; exposure to silica dust, temperature extremes ranging from 60°C -28°C; thermal shocks ranging from 96°C to -51°C; atmospheric pressure of a military aircraft at 15,000 ft above the sea level; and the spark test for high fuel-air mix atmospheres.

Panasonic is a brand of Matsushita Electric Industrial (MEI), ranked 4th in Fortune 500 index for ''Electronics and Electrical Equipments'' and ranked as a ''World Super 50'' by Forbes. It is the world''s largest producer of consumer electronics and 34th largest company in the world with an annual spend of $5 billion on research and development.

Panasonic Systems Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., has been in India since 1994 and has eight manufacturing establishments in the country with four sales outfits.


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One man, one boat, one ToughBook and 3,000 nautical miles to row