Disabled sailor Geoff Holt launches personal challenge in London yesterday 22/3/07

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the Surrey Docks Watersport Centre in South East London yesterday to support disabled yachtsman Geoff Holt at the launch of a challenge he refers to as his ‘Personal Everest’.

Disabled as the result of a swimming accident when he was only 18 years old, Holt now 40, announced that he intends to be the first disabled person to sail solo around the coast of Great Britain, a voyage of over 1,600 miles.

Prior to his accident, Holt was one of the youngest charter skippers in the Caribbean, sailing over 27,000 miles between the ages of 15 and 18, including three trans-Atlantic crossings and several solo voyages.

The Personal Everest Challenge will commence from Southampton in mid-May 2007 and is expected to take about 50 days to complete. Not only sailing to fulfil a personal lifelong ambition, Hampshire based Holt, will also be raising awareness and funds for RYA Sailability, a national charity which helps provide opportunities for disabled people to go sailing.