Quadriplegic sailor to cross the pond later this year

The first quadriplegic yachtsman to sail solo around Britain has set his sights on a transatlantic crossing.

Geoff

Holt, 43, broke his neck when he dived into shallow water at the age of

18. He said: ‘I last sailed the Atlantic just before my accident.’

Geoff will leave the Solent for the Canary Islands at the end of October, departing for Tortola at the beginning of December.

‘It’s

not about being disabled. It’s not about sailing the Atlantic Ocean,’

he said. ‘It’s about demonstrating that disability need not be a

barrier to achieving something positive in your life.’

Geoff will sail the 60ft catamaran Impossible Dream

singlehanded, but will have a personal assistant alongside him to help

with day-to-day tasks like getting out of his wheelchair and having a

shower, but she will not take part in any sailing.

The yacht,

owned by the charity Sporting Activities for the Disabled, is a unique

craft, and one of the few suitable for the voyage. It is operated by

push-button technology, allowing Geoff to sail it completely by himself.

‘A

few months ago I went to Malta and sailed it for the first time,’ he

said. ‘It was quite stunning, doing it on my own. It is the only one I

know of which is up to sailing across the Atlantic.’

In 2007,

Geoff became the first disabled sailor to sail single-handed around

Great Britain, an epic journey that took him a total of 109 days to

complete.

Geoff Holt’s website