Gavan Hennigan knows toughness and conquering struggle. After battling heroin and alcohol addiction as he wrestling with his sexual orientation, the Irishman has set a world record for fastest solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, rowing the 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua in under 50 days.

From The Independent:

The 35-year-old was used to the isolation, having been a saturation diver on oil rigs for the last decade.

And the mental challenge was an altogether different battle to the anguish he suffered while addicted to hard drugs in a bedsit in London in the early 2000s.

Mr Hennigan said he turned to heroin after struggling to admit he was gay.

But after fighting back from the brink of suicide, the Irishman channelled his energies into clean living and endurance challenges which have seen him travel the globe in pursuit of his next thrill.

The Irish Mirror has a lengthy post-race quote from Hennigan, including this:

An exhausted Gavan said: ”I’m so proud to have done this. Not many Irish have attempted a Solo row across the Atlantic and I feel I've done it in style.

"I had so many messages of support. I’d get up some days and I’d be struggling but when I read the positivity in those notes and comments from complete strangers that would motivate me to get back on the oars and do it for them.

Congratulations to Hennigan across the board. To come out on the other end of the struggles and this grueling adventure, and to do it at a world-record pace, is a testament to your strength and will. May we all take a lesson from your example.

You can follow Hennigan on Twitter @soulogav.