New record in the making

Quadriplegic sailor, Geoff Holt is about to set the record as the first
disabled person to successfully sail around Great Britain, a 1400 mile
voyage he describes as his ‘Personal Everest’.

Geoff left Southampton on 20th May this year, sailing every day that
weather has allowed. Geoff had hoped to complete the voyage in around 60
days, but this summer’s inclement weather has hampered his progress and he
has been weatherbound in several ports, causing his passage to take longer
than anticipated.

Geoff is now working his way along the South Coast and will be sailing in
to the Solent on Wednesday morning, 5th September, where he will be greeted
by a flotilla of support boats which will follow him to Hamble and a
welcome from family and friends.

Hampshire based Geoff, aged 41, was one of the youngest charter shippers
working in the Caribbean when he was paralysed as the result of a swimming
accident at only 18 years of age. Since his accident, despite being
paralysed from the breast line down and wheelchair bound, Geoff has taken
every opportunity to go to sea in his Challenger trimaran dinghy.

In 1992 Geoff was the first disabled person to sail solo around the Isle of
Wight and he bettered his own record in 1997. Ten years later, the record
he set, 7 hours 55 minutes, still stands.

Sponsorship from law firm, Blake Lapthorn Tarlo Lyons, allowed Geoff to
achieve his dream of putting together a round Great Britain project this

Rotary International members around Great Britain have helped the team in
ports of call and Geoff has been raising funds for Sailability, the Royal
Yachting Association charity which helps to give disabled people the
opportunity to go sailing.