A Royal Navy submariner has won the world’s toughest rowing race.

Commander Matt Main, who is from Sussex, was skipper aboard the Captain Jim and led four other men to victory.

The team, known collectively as HMS Oardacious, beat 36 others to the finish line and posted the fastest time by any military crew.

They left the Canary Islands on December and arrived in English Harbour, Antigua, 3,000 miles away at around 1pm on Wednesday after crossing the Atlantic in 35 days, four hours and 30 minutes.

Cmdr Main, who now lives near Bristol, said the race had been “tough - really, really tough”.

“It’s a really long way and I don’t recommend rowing it – try flying it or perhaps cruising.

“We had some beautiful times in the moonlight, racing through the night on big waves, great fun.

“But there were also lows, some awful crosswinds when you felt you were making no progress, sometimes it felt like it would never end.

The Argus: The crew crossed the Atlantic in 35 daysThe crew crossed the Atlantic in 35 days (Image: PA)

“But overall, it’s been a brilliant experience. It’s demanded a lot of love and tolerance at times, but these four men are amazing. We made a real bond.”

The other team members were marine engineer officer Commander Dan Seager, 38, from Bristol, medical services officer Lieutenant Rob Clarke, 37, who lives in Glasgow, Petty Officer Ian Allen, 39, a nuclear reactor operator of Southampton and Commander Mike Forrester MBE, 40, from Edinburgh.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: “Their boat Captain Jim – named in memory of a former colleague – left La Gomera in the Canaries on December 13.

READ MORE: Saltdean Lido ballroom is now available to hire

“Since then, the submariners have rowed in shifts of two and a half hours on the oars, followed by 90 minutes’ rest in the tiny cabins at each end of the boat.

“They’ve burned through around 5,000 calories every day, the figure for the average adult is around 2,000 calories, all are suffering salt sores, blisters and sea sickness.”

Captain Jim’s team have raised about £70,000 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.