Irish adventurer receives hero's welcome

Gavan Hennigan has become the fastest Irishman to cross the Atlantic in a rowing boat - beating the previous record by 69 days

Irish adventurer Gavan Hennigan has arrived home to a hero’s welcome after becoming the fastest Irishman to cross the Atlantic in a rowing boat. 

Mr Hennigan finished third out of 12 teams in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge - regarded as the world’s toughest row. 

In a remarkable performance, he beat teams of pairs, trios and even a four person crew to the finish-line.

On his arrival into Dublin Airport this afternoon, Mr Hennigan said: “It is just incredible to get such a welcome home, I am used to arriving on my own into airports so this is really amazing.”

“I was so happy to see my mother Julie, who was waiting for me to come through the arrival gates and then to see such a crowd, such a show of support, I am really delighted.”

The Galway man completed the epic 3,000 mile crossing in 49 days, 11 hours and 37 minutes - smashing the previous record for an Irishman by an astonishing 69 days. 

He burnt around 8,000 calories a day and lost approximately 20% of his body weight over the duration of the race, which started on 14th December 2016, from La Gomera in the Canary Islands. 

The race finish was in Antigua in the West Indies - where he arrived on the 1st of February 2017. 

During the row he endured tropical storms, sleep deprivation, sweltering heat and the psychological stresses of living and working in such an unpredictable environment. 

He is no stranger to adventure however - having already completed ultra-marathons, Iron Man challenges and even raced across a frozen lake in Siberia on foot. 

He completed his Atlantic crossing in aid of Galway charities Cancer Care West and Jigsaw West.

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