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Stephen Shanly greeted by Richard Branson after completing 3,000 mile solo row

After losing his seat on the seventh day and countless capsizes a property developer from Windsor has completed a 3,000 mile solo row across the Atlantic.

Stephen Shanly, 42, arrived in Barbados this afternoon, 41 days after setting off from Gran Canaria in Spain.

He was greeted by Richard Branson who he met when they completed the Virgin Strive Challenge together.

After arriving in Barbados Stephen said despite feeling ‘pretty wobbly’ he was ‘elated’ to be greeted by family and friends on the island.

“There were days when it was really rough weather and you’re capsizing a lot,” said Stephen who was born and raised in Windsor.

“I lost my seat on the seventh day so did rest of it just sat down and rowing with my arms – so that moment was horrendous.

“It is much more of a survival exercise – the rowing is just a small part of it.”

Despite the numerous capsizes and spending two or three days awake at a time Stephen completed the challenge quicker than expected and has joined an elite club of about 75 people to take on the route.

So far he has raised about £37,000 for charities Big Change and Ocean Unite.

In a blog post Richard Branson said: “It was an honour to be able to greet him today at the finishing line with my family, as our friend completed the adventure of a lifetime.

“It really is extraordinary what Stephen has achieved. The weather in the Atlantic has been truly horrific, especially in the past week, when Stephen would have been at his most exhausted.”

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