Geoff Holt describes himself as a seafaring adventurer, but that’s not the full story. Geoff faced enormous adversity early on in his life, and had to build huge resilience to get back to living his life.
By the time Geoff was eighteen, he had sailed across the Atlantic Ocean three times, completed several solo voyages and sailed over 30,000 nautical miles. Then, his life changed completely when he broke his neck after diving into the Caribbean Sea.
Geoff was paralysed from the chest down but after a year in hospital he retrained in database management. He went on to work for Deloitte, becoming Head of Marketing and Business Development for the South West. He had always wanted to get back to sailing though and achieved this in 1991. In 1992 he sailed the 60 miles around the Isle of Wight. He followed this by sailing solo around Great Britain in 2007, taking 110 days to complete the journey. He published his autobiography ‘Walking on Water’ in 2008 and in January 2010, became the first quadriplegic to sail the Atlantic unassisted.
Sailing was Geoff’s life before his accident but he had the resilience to rebuild his life. Sailing became a huge part of it again. Now, his aim is to get as many disabled people as possible out on the water. He set up the Wetwheels Foundation in 2011 which gives disabled people the opportunity to access the sea as a shared experience with their family in a safe but rewarding way.
You can find out more at Wetwheelsfoundation.org