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We Fight Any Claim Community Blog Team Oarstruck Atalantic Row

We are so proud of our staff here at We Fight Any Claim. Each individual team member has a huge part to play in our fight for justice for consumers who were mis-sold PPI, and we wouldn’t be where we are today as a business without them. But it’s not just their hard work in the office that makes us proud. 

Many of our colleagues have achieved big things in their spare time too, and we love to support them and shout about their efforts in any way we can. From Aled the brave blood donor or our chairman Simon Chorlton and Manager James Llewelyn’s trek across Peru, we have a very special team of people here and we are proud to sing their praises. 

One of our staff members, however, is currently taking on a challenge like never before. 

We would like to introduce you to Team Manager Hugo Thompson.

Before joining the WFAC team, Hugo has taken on many adventures - including travelling in Australia and climbing the Himalayas. So what next for this adrenaline junkie?

On 12th December Hugo and his team (Team Oarstruck), made up of 4 school friends, set off on their row across the Atlantic. They have been battling the elements for more than 7 weeks in their aim to complete 3000 mile journey from La Gomera, Canary Islands to Antigua. 

They are one of 28 teams and individuals taking on the challenge, which has been dubbed as the ‘world’s toughest row’. The Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge official website states:

“With storms, adverse weather conditions, hunger and sleep deprivation, these teams will face the challenge of their lives.”

Sounds scary. So what inspired Hugo to take on such an incredible race? We caught up with him before his journey began.

“Two and a half years ago I watched the BBC documentary, Through Hell and High Water, with Olympic rower James Cracknell and Ben Fogle. It was really fascinating, and I wanted to give it a go! I love an adventure, and this will be something different for me.”

The team are spending 24 hours a day on their boat, named “Tiny Dancer,” and take it in turns, in pairs, to eat and try to get some sleep. 

They’ve so far faced torrential rain and huge waves, as well as a huge dislike for the rehydrated main meals on board. But the team are in good spirits, and have been providing regular, cheerful updates via their facebook page Team OarStruck.

As if rowing the Atlantic isn’t a big enough challenge, Hugo has an extra tough personal battle on his hands. He suffers with type 1 diabetes, and has had to make sure he manages his condition throughout the race, despite limited resting time. 

Hugo discussed his concerns with us before the race: “I think my diabetes will be the biggest barrier for me. If I cut myself, even just a scratch, I can get infected much easier than someone without diabetes, so it’s something I have to really carefully consider. I can’t even afford to get sea sick because it’ll be bad for my health.”

In a recent interview while at sea, Hugo has said he’s got a device on board to test his blood sugar without having to take on as many ‘fingerprick’ tests. He has had to complete this test every hour whilst at sea to make sure he’s aware of any changes.

Completing such a tough race and refusing to let diabetes stop him from taking on this adventure will certainly provide some recognition for Hugo. That’s because, if his team complete the race, he will be a world record holder!

Hugo will be the first person with type 1 diabetes to EVER row the Atlantic in history. What an insane achievement. 

Team OarStruck have now got less than 300 miles to go until they have completed this absolutely amazing challenge, and our colleague Hugo is a record breaker!

We need as many people as possible to leave messages of support to push them on their final home stretch.

In line with the world record attempt and Hugo’s bravery, the team are also aiming to raise £50,000 for Diabetes UK

If you’d like to make a donation to the team, in support of Diabetes UK, visit their just giving page here.

There are also plenty of updates on the teams’ progress including a live race tracker on the race website.

GO TEAM OARSTRUCK!