Some of the time, he was down low. For a while, he was down really just six inches above the water, in the changing winds. Somehow he struggled along as his left leg cramped from the dehydration. He pedaled mostly with his right. Then his right leg would cramp, and he would pedal mostly with his left. Towards the end, both legs were cramped, but he somehow just got that last little bit. And there was extra turbulence that was almost beyond the capability of the plane to handle its controls in just that last bit, 50 meters offshore. But finally, he made it. It was almost a three-hour flight — beyond all odds, just impossible for human stamina to have kept going that long, but he did.
If it had been high tide, I think he wouldn’t have made it because he would have had to go an extra 100 meters to reach the shore. It was that close. He had worked for the last several months before the flight with a full-time exercise physiologist, Professor Joe Mastropaolo, who helped him train to build up his stamina. Bryan was a good bicyclist but hadn’t been doing Olympic training, but he worked at it very hard. Mastropaolo, I think, gave him the real spirit, the attitude, that you just don’t quit. It doesn’t matter how impossible, how painful, if you are conscious, you are still pedaling. And somehow this sunk into Bryan, and what he did then is just so beyond reasonable human stamina, I’ve never seen anything else like it.