It was only five days ago that the 24-hour Calvi-Monaco Water Bike Challenge was announced, pitting two teams of four internationally famous athletes, including Princess Charlene, against each other as they ride hydrobikes over a distance of 180 kilometers.
Yet already photos have surfaced from Corsica of the Princess, 42, on her Schiller waterbike taking on MMA legend Conor McGregor, who is the first athlete confirmed to be taking part in the third edition of the waterbike race September 12-13, organized by the Princess Charlene Foundation to raise awareness for water safety.
McGregor, 32, posted snaps of his watercycling against HSH on his Instagram account, along with photos of the Irishman with his girlfriend Dee, alongside Prince Albert and Princess Charlene. The retired UFC featherweight and lightweight champion posted: “A Great day racing the water bikes with Princess Charlene of Monaco. A phenomenal athlete and Olympian, we are teaming up for a 180km voyage in September to raise awareness in water safety. I cannot wait!
“We will be utilising my training under the McGregor F.A.S.T program to excel on these mounted water bike devices, which are incredibly good! It is like Freedom out there! Thank you for the great day for my family Your Highness.”
Dubbed “The Crossing,” this biannual event usually takes places in June. This first edition covered 21 km from Nice to Monaco, and the second was a 21-km loop around a megayacht in the port of Monaco.
With the coronavirus pandemic, two of the Foundation’s worldwide programs aimed at children who are at risk of drowning—“Learn to swim” and “Water Safety”—have been put on hold, as has the “Sport & Education” initiative which offers sports activities to contribute to the wellbeing and development of children.
In June, the Foundation participated in the first ever Virtual 24-Hour Le Mans. While it might have seemed an unlikely pairing between auto racing and drowning, it was an opportunity in a year of non-events to raise money for a cause that WHO ranks as the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide.
The names of the other six athletes in the Calvi-Monaco Water Bike Challenge will be announced soon. The charity race will finish at the Monaco Yacht Club.