Quadriplegic sailor plans a circumnavigation that is a truly massive feat


Later this month, the Princess Royal will launch Geoff Holt’s ambitious plan to sail single-handed round Britain. This is a mission with a difference, and when I say it’s a massive feat that is no exaggeration. Geoff is quadriplegic and will be sailing in stages of about 50 miles at a time in a Challenger trimaran, starting from the south coast in May. The project is fraught with physical challenges we able-bodied people couldn’t begin to imagine, such as an inability to control body temperature. No wonder the mission is called ‘Personal Everest’.

Holt, a former charter skipper and one of the founders of RYA Sailability, has sailed round the Isle of Wight in his catamaran Freethinker but that’s his longest stint to date. The circumnavigation of Britain will be done with a support boat – Ian Clover, father of the young solo transatlantic sailor Seb Clover is in charge of that side – and at the end of each day he will come ashore to a specially modified motorhome that has been donated to Geoff by Peter Harrison.

You can find out more at www.personaleverest.com