Geoff Holt waits in Abersoch for a weather window to complete his sail round Britain 19/6/07
Quadriplegic sailor, Geoff Holt, was despondent last night in Abersoch after the long range weather forecast indicated that he will not be able to resume his sail round Great Britain for at least five days.
Geoff, 41, who is paralysed from the breast line down as the result of a swimming accident when he was 18, is attempting to be the first disabled person to sail around the coast of Great Britain. His attempt has already been hampered by severe weather in the West Country, when the team were forced to wait in Brixham for a week for weather calm enough for Geoff to sail.
Such a feat involves the logistics of launching and recovering the dinghy on a daily basis, plus the added difficulty of wheelchair accessible accommodation in remote areas. Two motor homes and a Land Rover equipped with a winch and overhead crane hoist for lifting Geoff and his boat out of the water, travel by road, meeting Geoff and his support crew at the end of each day.
Geoff’s wife Elaine, a former nurse, is part of the support team and drives one of the motor homes between ports, accompanied by their five year old son, Timothy, who cheers his Dad in to each port and who has become the team’s ‘official’ photographer.
Geoff and his team are currently in Abersoch, having made good progress along the Welsh coast, but Geoff is now delayed by bad weather for at least five more days.
Geoff expresses his frustration in his blog: “We were scheduled for an 0500 start on a two stage trip to Holyhead but were awoken at 0300 by strong winds and lashing rain. It was imperative that we were at Bardsey Island by 0600 to catch the tide and avoid the treacherous overfalls that lay beyond but with such strong winds, it would have been foolhardy to have gone. It’s just as well. By midday, the wind had increased, as too had the rain.
“As if things couldn’t get worse, the lunchtime Met Office forecast brought it. In short, it looks as though it will be Sunday before the weather changes in our favour. As I’ve mentioned before, we must have winds no more than 15 knots and ideally anything with south in it – for the next five days, winds exceed 20 knots and are mostly from the north – it’s that Brixham feeling all over again. What a wet and miserable day this has turned out to be.”