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Team Oarstruck race across the Atlantic

An intrepid team of amateur rowers from Caerleon have set sail across the Atlantic Ocean in support of Diabetes UK Cymru.


Hugo Thompson, Joel Wood, John Morgan, and Monty Williams, all aged 26, make up Team Oarstruck. The four friends are rowing 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

They hope to complete their transatlantic journey within 50 days and raise £50,000 for Diabetes UK Cymru.

An oar-some challenge

Hugo was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in October 2015, aged 24. He is hoping to become the first person with Type 1 diabetes to row the Atlantic.

The rookie rowers have been training hard for the task. They will row in pairs for two hours at a time and have been sticking to a high-calorie diet to prepare themselves for burning up to 12,000 calories a day.

If they encounter a storm they will have to lock themselves into cabins smaller than the size of a two-man tent until it passes, which could be up to three days.

“Diabetes won’t stop me from doing anything”

Hugo said: “We’re not underestimating the challenge: more people have climbed Everest than rowed the Atlantic. It’s tough but we’re prepared.

“I am confident I will be able to manage my diabetes throughout the challenge. My girlfriend is a nurse and has helped teach the others what to do if I become unwell. As I exercise a lot, especially during my training for this challenge, I am aware of how it affects my blood glucose levels and how to take care of it.

“Diabetes won’t stop me from doing anything – even crossing an ocean.”

Follow the team’s voyage and sponsor them as they try to reach their fundraising goal

Visit our Know Type 1 campaign page for more information about the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes.

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