Geoff Holt expected in Caribbean 8 Jan

Paralysed sailor Geoff Holt has under 700 nautical miles to go before becoming the first
quadriplegic sailor to cross the Atlantic, skippering his boat, unassisted
in the sailing. He hopes to arrive in the Virgin Islands on 8 January. Geoff broke his neck diving into a beach at age 18. Now 25 years later he is returning to the same beach in the Virgin Islands, on his
own terms.

“This isn’t about closure,” says Geoff from Southampton, UK. “Since my
accident I met my wife Elaine, and we have a gorgeous son Tim, both waiting
for me in Cane Garden Bay. This is me reconfirming my love of the sea and my
passion for sailing.”

Geoff is sailing a 60ft carbon catamaran called “Impossible Dream” which has
been modified with hydraulic winches, wheelchair access around the deck, and
push button navigation from Raymarine. He has a carer onboard, Susana Scott
from New Zealand, to help him get in and out of his motorized wheelchair,
and to help with his medical needs.

“Lifting Geoff in rocky seas has been the hardest part,” says Susana. “It’s
so tricky to find my balance. But I’ve coped when I’ve had to.” Susana, 29,
never sailed before this voyage and has suffered badly from sea sickness.
She grits her teeth and grins when saying: “Everyone told me it would go
away after a few days. They all lied! I’ve tried everything. Bring me land!”

Also on board is cameraman Digby Fox, Live Producer of the last America’s
Cup, who is filming for the BBC. “What Geoff and Susana are doing is
extraordinary,” he says. “It’s extremely tough for both of them, but there’s
something phenomenal about the human spirit going on here, and it’s making
superb TV.”

Digby is broadcasting live pictures and interviews back to BBC News and BBC
Worldwide. A three minute feature he’s edited sums up the voyage perfectly:

The boat’s ETA is January 8th, wind depending. You can find out more about
the voyage, the specially modified 60ft catamaran, track their position,
watch the video blogs, etc. here: