Geoff Holt is a man worth following. He is pretty famous in the UK, especially in the sailing fraternity but hasn't received much coverage outside of his home country. He will, no doubt about it! He is a truly inspiring guy.
By the age of 18, he had crossed the Atlantic three times. On his third trip, he was in the BVI's at Cane Garden Bay where he had a life-changing accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. For lesser mortals like me, that could have been the end of it. Geoff on the other hand got on with life - having a career, getting married and having a child. More to the point he kept on sailing. Sailing has been an incredibly important part of his life. I took this quote from his web site:
“Sailing has given me so much in my life. It was my livelihood before my accident and it was to be my saviour after it. The freedom I experience on the sea is like no other; I am free of my wheelchair and free of my disability. When I am on the water, it makes me feel alive and any sailor, regardless of their ability, will know exactly that same feeling. Sailing is my life.”
He has dedicated a large part of his life to disabled sailing and in 2007, 23 years to the day of his terrible accident he completed his Sailing Everest by being the first disabled person to sail single-handed round Britain. Here is a video interview on his arrival home. (Note: When you see his boat, you will realize that sailing round Britain would have been incredible for anyone in this boat).
Geoff's latest feat is to take on his Personal Atlantic, to be the first disabled person to sail unassisted across the Atlantic. You can read more here. He will sail from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean on a 60 ft purpose-built catamaran supported by a nurse who has never sailed, i.e. she is specialized in helping quadriplegics but can't help sail the boat. That's Geoff's job!
Geoff gets to the Canary Islands this week and will set sail in December. Forget the Americas Cup Fiasco, THIS is sailing worth following!