Monaco, 16th September 2015 – Over a hundred members and guests joined Yacht Club de Monaco President HSH Prince Albert II for a moving, inspirational talk by the British tetraplegic sailor, Geoff Holt, who chose the Yacht Club de Monaco to launch his bid to be the first disabled sailor to sail solo round the world. “Life should be more about what we can do, not what we can’t”, Geoff Holt.
Paralysed from the neck down at the age of 18 in 1984 on the threshold of a career in yachting, Geoff has been a champion for disabled sailing for more than 30 years and his round the world ambition is the next chapter in his vision to make our oceans accessible to all through his charity ‘Accessible Oceans’. Over the years, Geoff has inspired millions with his epic achievements which include being the first disabled person to sail solo round the UK and first tetraplegic to across the Atlantic which he did in 2009.
The voyage will take Geoff to 12 destinations around the world and take an estimated 15 months to complete. Learning from his Atlantic crossing, he will be accompanied by two personal assistants who will assist him with his daily living requirements but will play no part in the sailing. Other disabled sailors may join for different legs of the voyage and a selection process has already begun. A cameraman will also be aboard to document the journey but will play no part in the sailing. The voyage itself is scheduled to start in the Spring of 2017.
Bernard d’Alessandri, General Secretary of the Yacht Club de Monaco said: “We are delighted Geoff chose the YCM as the venue to announce his plans. Despite his disability, Geoff is clearly a very competent and accomplished yachtsman with a sailing CV that most yachtsmen would envy. We encourage and support him in his just cause. We wish him well in all his efforts”.
As Geoff Holt told the audience: “My vision is very clear and uncomplicated: I want our oceans to be accessible to people with disabilities. Whether it be a holiday or for adventure, I know from personal experience that the physical and psychological benefits of being afloat are many, especially for disabled people.”
Anyone interested in supporting the project (logistics, marketing, donations, etc.) can contact Geoff through: www.geoffholt.com
Geoff Holt CV
1982-1984: Completed three trans-Atlantic crossings and sailed 35,000 miles at sea
1984: Aged 18, broke his neck, paralyzing him from the chest down
1995-2002: Inaugural chairman of national sailing charity, RYA Sailability
1996: Bronze Medal at the world disabled Hobie sailing championships
2007: Sailed single-handed around UK
2007: Awarded BBC South, Sports Personality of the Year
2008: Wrote autobiography, Walking on Water
2009: Sailed single-handed across the Atlantic Ocean
2010: Awarded MBE by HM The Queen for “services to disabled sailing”
2010: Named Yachtsman of the Year by the Yachting Journalist Association
2011: Awarded British Airways Great Briton award
2011: Shortlisted for Daily Telegraph Great Briton of the Year
2012: Founded national boating charity Wetwheels