YJA PANTAENIUS YACHTSMAN OF THE YEAR 2010
Geoff Holt First quadriplegic to sail across the Atlantic
British yachtsman Geoff Holt, 44, became the first quadriplegic to sail across the Atlantic when he sailed into the British Virgin Islands on January 7, overcoming personal adversity and achieving his own impossible dream. He took 28 days to complete the 2,700-mile voyage after setting off from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.
He battled light winds, mechanical problems and running out of fuel aboard his boat, Impossible Dream, during the voyage where he was aided by a carer and filmed by a cameraman – but he did all his own sailing. Poignantly, he returned to the exact scene of the diving accident that paralysed him 27 years ago – Cane Garden Bay, on Tortola Island.
In the words of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston “He continues to raise the bar when it comes to sheer determination to allow nothing to stand in his way.“
Geoff, who only has limited use of his arms and hands, and is paralysed from the chest down, used hydraulic push-button technology to sail the 60-foot catamaran Impossible Dream.