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Team Oarstruck row into the record books

Team Oarstruck complete their epic Atlantic journey for Diabetes UK Cymru.


John Morgan, Hugo Thompson, Monty Williams and Joel Wood, all 26, from Caerleon, have rowed 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, completing the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Their epic adventure took them from the Canary Islands to Antigua in 55 days, two hours and 23 minutes.

Hugo was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2015 and has become the first person with the condition to row unaided across the Atlantic! He hopes his record-breaking efforts will inspire others with Type 1.

A totally awesome experience

The team had to overcome treacherous weather, seasickness and exhaustion to complete their challenge. Four of the original 27 teams needed to be rescued, but the boys battled on, celebrating Christmas and the New Year on the open ocean and keeping in touch with family at home via satellite phone.

Their excited families were waiting to meet them as they crossed the finish line.

Hugo said, “The race was a totally awesome experience. We can’t believe we’ve been out on the ocean for over 50 days. The welcome in Antigua was amazing, seeing all our families and our girlfriends at the harbour was the best sight ever!

“I want this achievement to be a message to anyone with diabetes that it’s not a barrier to doing the things you want to do in life.”

Type 1 diabetes does not hold you back

Dai Williams, National Director, Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “Words cannot express how incredibly proud we are of Team Oarstruck. They have achieved something truly amazing and Hugo has put himself in the record books, as the first person with Type 1 diabetes to row the Atlantic.

“They are a fantastic example of teamwork, dedication and supporting each other, and we hope their story shows others with Type 1 diabetes that having the condition does not have to hold you back. If you can row the Atlantic with Type 1 diabetes, you can do absolutely anything. We are looking forward to welcoming the team back to Wales very soon!”

You can support Team Oarstruck's epic efforts by donating to their JustGiving page.

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