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Irish Independent

Atlantic teams get set for challenge known as world's toughest rowing race

Adrenaline junkies from across the UK and Ireland will spend Christmas in the middle of the Atlantic as they compete in an endurance event dubbed the world's toughest rowing race.

Months of preparation, training and fitness regimes will come to a head on Wednesday at the start of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge when the 12 teams leave La Gomera in the Canary Islands bound for Antigua.

Gavan Hennigan: 'Sport kept me on the straight and narrow - I still have an addictive personality but now I use it in a positive way'

I'm not a great sleeper in the mornings, so when the alarm goes off at 6am, I'm always keen to get out of bed. The first thing that I do is make coffee. Then I'll check the weather. I can see Galway Bay from the balcony of my apartment. I check the conditions - the wind and the tide - because the aim is to get out rowing. If I'm not going out straight away, I'll do a two-hour session on my rowing machine. It's right in the middle of the living room and takes up a lot of space.