Suffolk student's windsurfing bike sails to success

Ned Aufenast made the prototype Whike from scrap for £50

A student from Suffolk who designed a windsurfing tricycle during an A-level project is helping create the machine for the commercial market.

Ned Aufenast, 18, of Bawdsey, put together his first "whike" at Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge with £50 worth of scrap parts.

It comprised a recumbent tricycle with a windsurfing-type sail attached.

Dutch manufacturer Whike was so impressed that it made him director of its UK subsidiary.

Mr Aufenast, who is due to start an engineering degree, said his inspiration came when he was riding a standard bicycle.

"I was cycling and the wind was blowing across and it was hindering rather than helping me.

"I've always wanted to sail on a road and I thought 'I can get somewhere with this'.

"It's amazing to pedal along with the traffic and then I can stop pedalling, pull in the sail a bit and then just roll along and get to where I want to go."

The whike is legal for use on UK roads, except motorways, and can achieve speeds of up to 40mph.

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