Father from Berkshire rows across Atlantic Ocean in memory of late wife

Pictured: Ed Smith with his daughter, Alba, and late wife, Anna

A man from Berkshire has completed a challenge to row across the Atlantic Ocean, in memory of his late wife.

Ed Smith from Thatcham rowed 3,000 miles and said the memory of Anna kept him and his team going when things got tough.

Named the Anna Victorious, Ed, alongside Rob Murray, Adam Green and Jack Biss, completed the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge after spending 37 days, 8 hours and 58 minutes at sea.

Ed said he wanted his daughter, Alba, to know anything was possible and that his late wife words were true: "Tell Alba she can do whatever she wants".

WATCH: The moment Ed Smith stepped ashore in Antigua after 37 days at sea.

Credit: Atlantic Campaigns

The group had to work in shifts and never had enough sleep as they navigated through rough seas, salt sores, infections and blisters.

Ed said it was an emotionally draining too because it was in memory of Anna, who died from bowel cancer in 2018.

He took on the Atlantic to raise money for the charity Victoria's Promise, which helped Anna through her illness. She was 38 when she died, leaving behind their 18-month-old daughter Alba, now aged five.

He said: "She is – was – an amazing person. We wanted to continue Anna's legacy of inspiring and empowering people to follow their dreams. Stop saying and start doing."

The team spent months training in Poole Harbour and the Solent before embarking from the Canary Islands.

Ed Smith, Atlantic rower

The team said they almost capsized during the journey but their motto ‘Do it for Anna’ kept them going.

Ed said: "It was the most amazing experience but the most horrific at the same time. We saw every sort of weather you can imagine from glass oceans, which is like rowing through treacle, to waves that were bigger than two storeys."

"We were getting a maximum of 1 hour 20 minutes sleep at a time, as we were rowing two hours on, two hours off. Sometimes the alarm went off and I was like, I do not want to get out of my bed. There were lots of dark moments where we had to dig deep but there were magical moments out there as well."

Team-mate Rob said: "The bite of missing family and loved ones really hit home. The pain of missing people was more than the row and the hands and the blisters."

"The pain just didn’t matter anymore because we just had to get here and get back to see you guys."

Rob Murray, Team Anna Victorious

Credit: Atlantic Campaigns

They arrived safely at the race finish in Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua to an emotional crowd with friends and family, including Alba, watching on.

Ed said: "We could hear them shouting at us and cheering us in. I'm getting emotional just thinking about it. We set the flares off, which was just fantastic. It was really surreal seeing people when we came round the corner and saw where we were going to moor the boat. We hadn't even seen land for 37 days and now people were shouting and saying 'well done'."

"I was desperately looking for Alba. Seeing her was very very special. She told me how proud she is of me and she won't leave my side, she's like my shadow, which is amazing."

"We did it for Mummy- we did it for Anna."

The team have raised £32,000 for Victoria’s Promise and proved to themselves that anything is possible.