A CROSS-ocean rower will soon return home having tackled more than 2,000 miles across the Pacific.
Barry Hayes, of Lamberton Drive, Brymbo, arrived in Hawaii last week after tackling the Great Pacific Race on behalf of Help For Heroes.
Along with fellow Team Battleborn members Philip Cavanagh, Darren Taylor and Dan Kierath, Barry rowed from Monterey Bay, California in the boat Patience.
The team came second in the international race, having taken on the Pacific in 45 days, seven hours and 24 minutes.
They were beaten by the Uniting Nations team, who came in at 43 days, five hours and 30 minutes.
Barry is due to return home today, having flown home at the weekend.
The 32-year old summed up his thoughts on the end of the race in an entry in the team’s Captain’s Blog, on their website.
Barry – who lives with partner Emma Raine and eight year old stepson Jack Rowley – wrote: “Rowing across the Pacific has really filled me with pride, but probably not for the reasons you’d expect. It’s great we made it across, it’s cool to be part of the first ever human powered race across the Pacific, and it has been awesome to take so much enjoyment from what is a very minimalistic way of living.
“However, the pride has been in the impact we appear to have had, the support that we have attracted and the charities we have been able to support.”
He added: “I know I speak for all of us when I say we were truly shocked by how much support we got and how interested people were in our expedition.
“We cannot express our thanks enough to everyone that has donated or supported in any way.”
He also added his experiences of being back on dry land for the first time in more than 40 days.
“I’m still struggling to walk in a straight line, but when we first got off the boat just standing still was an impossibility,” he added.
He reflected on readjusting to “hot showers, on demand electricity, food that doesn’t look like it has been regurgitated, beds that don’t move and people other than the other three lads”.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love the rest of the team, but I was running out of insults to hurl at them, so it was nice to be able to insult other people too,” he added.
Each team member is rowing to raise funds for charity, with Barry choosing to support Help for Heroes due to family links.
His father, also named Barry, is a decorated naval officer, and younger brother Lewis, 28, is with the First Mercian Regiment, having recently served in Afghanistan.
For details on Barry’s exploits at sea as part of Team Battleborn at www.pacificrow2014.com.