Wrekin Rowers complete ocean challenge across Atlantic

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The crew at the finish lineImage source, Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge
Image caption,
The men reached the finish line overnight

Four rowers have completed a 3,000-mile (4,800 km) challenge of crossing the Atlantic ocean from the Canary Islands to Antigua.

Brothers Gary and Stuart Richards joined Stuart Shepherd and Martin Skehan to start the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge on 12 December.

The Wrekin Rowers from Shropshire finished their 40-day odyssey at about 00:00 GMT.

The crew raised more than £100,000 for charity.

They jointly thanked their supporters in Wellington after crossing the finishing line.

"The people of Shropshire, especially Wellington have been behind us the whole way," they said.

"They got together in the square to sing our sea shanty. It's been amazing and humbling.

"We're humbled by the support they've given us and we're just proud to have represented you on this journey."

Image source, Atlantic Campaigns
Image caption,
The Wrekin Rowers covered over 70 miles of water a day

They were the 15th team to reach Antigua and the only team unlucky enough to be struck by a marlin causing their boat to take on water.

But the enterprising crew - aged between 52 and 60 - used a lunch box to patch up the hole which was "as big as two fists put together".

Participants begin the journey in La Gomera, the second smallest island in the Canaries.

The men said they were pleased with their progress, covering over 70 miles on some days.

They achieved their fundraising goal of reaching £100,000 for Severn Hospice and the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

Image source, Wrekin Rowers
Image caption,
At one stage the crew had to plug a hole in their vessel with a lunch box lid

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