Their hands lacerated by blisters and their bodies brutalised, a team of four British polo players have completed the world's toughest rowing race after 48 gruelling days at sea.
In a tiny boat just seven yards long, the Atlantic Polo Team - comprised of 29-year-old Bobby Dundas (10th Viscount Melville), Henry Brett, 38, James Glasson, 39, and amateur polo player Fergus Scholes, 31 - has crossed the Atlantic in 48 days and seven minutes.
The rowers, who had little nautical experience, tackled the staggering 3,000 miles, from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean, in shifts of two hours at the oar, followed by just two hours of sleep.
Champions: (Left to right) Henry Brett, 38, Bobby Dundas, 29, Fergus Scholes, 32, and James Glasson, 39, of The Atlantic Polo Team, celebrate as they arrive in the harbour in Antigua
Viscount Melville, from Chippenham in Wiltshire, said: 'It was so out of our comfort zone as we had no seafaring ability. None of us are mariners but we craved that excitement, that sense of adventure.
'We had to everything from scratch, there was an enormity to it.'
Just five days into the challenge, they hit a powerful storm in the Canaries, forcing the four men to seek solace in the tiny 8ft by 3ft cabin - designed to hold just two - for three days.
They were washed back east by the storm and had to spend days making up the lost distance to win the four-person category and take second place overall in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
'We couldn't leave the cabin, it was the most horrendous thing', said Viscount Melville. 'It was morale-breaking.'
They also had to endure being constantly wet from waves or sweat, which combined with the hours spent at the oar caused horrendous blisters that wouldn't close.
Ferocious: Two men were thrown overboard during a ferocious storm just five days into the challenge but they recovered to complete the race in 48 days and seven minutes
But there were moments of incredible beauty too. Former city trader Mr Scholes, from Blandford in Dorset, said: 'We didn't see any wildlife - in fact we didn't even see another boat - but the stars were phenomenal. We were 1,000 miles from any land and the natural beauty was a knockout.
'We talked about food so much, like burgers, milkshakes, cold Coke with ice and lemon and the simple things like a bed and shower.'
The team competed to raise money for The Brooke, Hilton in the Community Foundation and Right to Play causes.
'The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is something we feel extremely privileged to have experienced, yet would not have wished upon our worst enemies - we have been through hell and back again out there', added Mr Brett, from Witney in Oxfordshire.
'Most did not expect us to even get to the start line, we are delighted to have won the fours and be second out of the entire fleet.'
Celebrating seconds: The Row2Recovery Team, made up of British soldiers, Cayle Royce, 27, from Dartmouth, James Kayall, 35, from Blandford, Scott Blaney, 27, from Nuneaton, and Mark Jenkins, 37, from London, came in at number two
Welcomed home: Scott Blaney of the Row2Recovery Team, meets his Fiance Amy Lee, 25, as the team dock at the harbour on the Caribbean island of Antigua
Ocean on fire: The Row2Recovery team set off their flares as they approach the port, coming second int he Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge
Two men were thrown overboard during the crossing whilst battling 40ft waves.
Racing neck and neck against friends Row2Recovery, The Atlantic Polo Team nudged to the lead on New Year’s Day and stayed ahead for the duration of the nail-biting race.
We would not wish that challenge upon our worst enemies - we have been through hell and back out there
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge saw 16 teams from around the world start the race on December 4.
With two teams airlifted to safety following capsizes and one team rescued by a passing bulk-carrier ship, only 11 teams remain in the world’s toughest rowing race.
Talisker Brand Manager Sophie Brookes said: 'The Atlantic Polo Team has done tremendously well to win the fours class of the 2013 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, during which the team faced extremely unforgiving conditions.
'Bobby and Fergus visited Talisker distillery on the Isle of Skye in Scotland before they left, looking out at the rough Atlantic Ocean surrounding the island one last time before setting off they discussed the tough battle ahead of them.
'All of us at Talisker would like to applaud them for facing the conditions head on and coming out on top in their class.'