Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Galway 'Extreme Athlete' Preps For Atlantic Solo Rowing Challenge

29th June 2016
Gavan Hennigan training on the boat he will row across the Atlantic from this December Gavan Hennigan training on the boat he will row across the Atlantic from this December Credit: Gavan Hennigan

#Rowing - Galway man Gavan Hennigan aims to join an elite group of rowers who've crossed the Atlantic solo when he takes part in the gruelling Tallisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge later this year.

Not to be confused with the Atlantic Challenge for longboats, the Tallisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a 3,000-nautical-mile rowing route across the world's second-largest expanse of ocean from the Canary Islands to Antigua in the West Indies.

Described as "horrific" by Seán McGowan, the first Irish person to complete the route six years ago, it's a challenge that's not for the faint of heart.

And 'extreme environment athlete' Hennigan is making it even tougher for himself by heading out solo among a field that usually features teams of up to four.

But the experienced adventurer – who hopes to raise €20,000 over the coming months for charities including Cancer Care West, Jigsaw, Sanctuary and the RNLI – is taking it all in his stride.

"I suppose I like the idea of the challenge," he told the Galway Independent. "I’ve spent a lot of my time in extreme places doing mountaineering in the Himalayas, I’ve been to Antarctica, I’ve done some of the world’s longest and toughest ultra-marathons.

"I’ve also had one of the most dangerous jobs in the world as a commercial diver so I’ve lived this life of extreme adventure and this just looked like the next big challenge for me."

The Galway Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Rowing
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

Email The Author

MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button