In 1997, Geoff Holt was an accomplished yachtsman, employed as a crewman on a charter yacht in the Caribbean. Then, one day his career was seemingly brought to an end after he dived overboard, broke his neck and finished up in a wheelchair as a quadriplegic.
Far from being beaten, Geoff became an inspiration for thousands of disabled people, by first sailing round Britain alone, then across the Atlantic with a carer. His next goal is to sail around the world.
"You've just got to accept there are things you can do and things you can't. It's absolutely pointless whingeing about what you can't do. You have to look at your capabilities and secure objectives and goals. Small steps metaphorically anyway." he says
In 1995, Geoff worked to establish the Royal Yachting Association's Sailability charity to provide disabled people with the opportunity to sail. With Princess Anne as its patron, Sailability now provides 25,000 places across 180 clubs around the UK.
Following his transatlantic voyage, Geoff was named the 2010 YJA Yachtsman of the Year winner and awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
He is Patron of the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust (SSIT), a charity dedicated to supporting people with spinal injuries. On top of his ambassadorial role, Geoff runs chartered boat trips for disabled people on his specially designed catamaran, Wet Wheels, to help disabled people experience the same joy that he has for life on water.
“Geoff's story is truly inspirational. His drive, spirit and determination, delivered in a very factual way, had the whole audience mesmerized.”
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