The idea of a pedal boat that could be operated by anyone, regardless of their physical condition, had never been forgotten, but it had been sleeping.
Until it was brought up again independently in 2013 by Haki Doku, an Albanian parathlete who had represented his country in the Paralympic Games of 2012 in London as a cyclist on the handbike.
Haki Doku on the road with his race handbike
The challenge was accepted by a team of the University of Verona in Italy (Luca Ardigò, scientific director; Massimo Spoladore, technical director; and Michele della Piazza).
Members of the OWP community contributed wholeheartedly and gave the University of Verona team their support, in particular Franco Mazzante (technical support and the twin hulls), Rick Willoughby (folding propeller and his priceless advice), and Andreas Schönwälder (new dedicated propeller).
The first prototype got built in a short time with a lot of enthusiasm,
The new HandWaterbike, Haki Doku, and builders
was shortly tested and then presented to the media and the public at Canottieri Olona in Milan (Italy) on June 7th, 2014. The next day Haki Doku took it successfully through the Vogalonga, the famous annual long distance regatta in Venice (Italy).
Haki Doku on the HandWaterbike during the Vogalonga 2014 in Venice (Italy)