The first disabled yachtsman to sail solo around Great Britain.
Geoff became an inspiration to many when he completed his ‘Personal Everest’ challenge. Geoff sailed 1,445 miles, solo, around Great Britain in a fragile 15-foot dinghy in 2007. Hailed an extraordinary, courageous achievement, Geoff is a passionate, talented yachtsman who uses a wheelchair. Paralysed from the chest down after a swimming accident, Geoff secured another place in the history books when he became the first quadriplegic sailor to sail across the Atlantic in January 2010. As someone once joked, Geoff Holt is now the most admired disabled sailor since Nelson!
Recognition of Geoff’s achievements came swiftly. He was voted BBC South Sports Personality of the Year (2007) and short-listed for the prestigious Yachtsman of the Year (2008). His autobiography ‘Walking on Water’ was published in 2008 to great acclaim.
At just 18 years old, Geoff Holt had sailed across the Atlantic Ocean three times and sailed over 27 thousand nautical miles. And then his life changed. All dreams and expectations of earning his livelihood as a professional yachtsman were brutally destroyed after diving into the sea and breaking his neck. Geoff spent a year in hospital and then, with characteristic spirit, retrained in a different career – marketing. Geoff eventually returned to his first love of sailing. He is the fastest disabled sailor to circumnavigate the Isle of Wight and firmly re-established himself as a yachtsman with his successful ‘Personal Everest’ and ‘Personal Atlantic’ challenges.
In January 2010, Geoff completed his ‘Personal Atlantic’ challenge sailing a 60ft purpose-built, wheelchair-accessible catamaran named ‘Impossible Dream’. The 2,700 mile journey took him 28 days to complete.
Geoff has faced adversity, challenged limits and continues to inspire others to maintain a positive attitude no matter what the challenges ahead. Geoff is passionate about creating opportunities for others through his association with the charity Sailability and the Paralympics.
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