Nine Mechanical engineering students from the University of Liverpool are attempting to break two international land speed records this September. 

They are aiming to beat the male and female records for a Multi-track single rider Human Powered vehicle, which involves the building of a vehicle with three wheels or more.

The current records, set by the International Human Powered Vehicle Association (IHPVA), are held by Gareth Hanks (73.95 mph) and Yasmin Tredell (56.42 mph).

Gareth Hanks, the current male record holder, said: “You’re only ever the custodian of a record. I’m proud that the mark I’ve set is a sought after one and I wish the good people from Liverpool University the best of luck!”

Female record holder Yasmin Tredell said: “Best of luck to the team, after a challenging project the reward for your efforts will be all the sweeter.

“Use last years delay to add fuel to the fire and go fast!”

The University of Liverpool Velocipede Team, as they are known, are headed by team leader Albert Glaves, 23.

Picture of ULV team, taken from official instagram account.
Picture of ULV team, taken from @ulvteam Instagram account.

Albert said: “The plan is to finish building before summer so that we can carry out a series of trial runs rather than work to the day of the race, as previous record breakers have done.”

The University of Liverpool has a strong pedigree in these events. The current team is the 7th consecutive group from the university to compete, giving them the name Arion 7.

Those working on Arion 6 last year were prevented from competing because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Covid-19 has clearly impacted the team and their ability to train and work together.

Albert said: “It’s a team-based exercise that requires multiple different components to work in unison, a lot of time things get lost in translation and people end up getting the wrong end of the stick.”

Team member Jack Blair-Burke, 21, said: “Not being able to see the rest of the team has been a real struggle, because it’s hard to maintain motivation on a group project without seeing each other.”

Despite these major hurdles, Albert said: “Overall, it’s not necessarily been too bad as we can access all of the design materials at home and we’re getting there with the building now.”

The prospect of breaking the record despite these challenges is motivating the team even more.

Albert said: “I have a feeling if we do get to go and we do see it get that record, I think everything will feel worthwhile because there’s been a lot of jubilation and tribulations.”

“Everyone has had their highs and lows in the group, I think seeing the bike go over the finish line and getting the record would just be the icing on the cake, because we’ve learnt so much along the way.”

Team member Josh Rose, 23, added: “At times it was difficult to see the finish line when the workload was building, but to accomplish a world record would be something I’ll carry with me forever.”

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