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Old 18-07-2009, 10:59   #1
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Quadriplegic Atlantic Crossing: The Impossible Dream

Hi there. My name is Geoff Holt. 25 years ago I worked in the charter boat industry in the Virgin Islands but unfortunately had a swimming accident which paralysed me from the chest down and left me quadriplegic.

In December 2009, I will be returning to the Caribbean, but this time as a quadriplegic yachtsman.

I will be sailing a 60ft, custom built, wheelchair accessible catamaran called, appropriately, Impossible Dream.

In so doing, I will be the first disabled yachtsman to sail indepently across the Atlantic Ocean from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands to Tortola in the BVI.

It is a really big undertaking and my main reason for doing so is to promote sailing as a sport / leisure activity that is possible, no matter what your ability level.

Of course, my story is much more complicated, a lot has happened in 25 years, not least helping to set up a national sailing charity called Sailability in 1995, a concept now copied throughout the world. But also, two years ago, becoming the first disabled person to sail single-handed around Great Britain.

I would really love for this Forum to be able to help spread the news about my Atlantic crossing later this year. I believe the more people hear about my project, the more people who may become inspired to take up sailing.

If moderators and Forum members could help promote my project, I'd be really grateful. All ideas welcome. I'll be completing regular updates and blogs on my progress on my website which I hope will be of interest to members of this Forum.

My website is or look also at

Thank you.


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Old 18-07-2009, 11:43   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard Geoff.

Im deeply impressed with your resume and your aspirations.
Im certain the entire CF membership will be as interested as I, in following your inspiring adventure.

I wish you all the best in your adventurous endeavours.

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 19-07-2009, 05:06   #3
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Hi and welcome,hope all geos well with your crossing.Do you know of Vinny Lauwers fro vision quest australia ? He did a circumnav ,look him up on the net.Happy sailing!!!
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Old 19-07-2009, 05:25   #4
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Thanks for message of support. Yes, I know of Vinny, great achievement, I followed his progress. He's a paraplegic which means he has full use of his arms and can live independently which is opposite us quadriplegisc but it doesn't lessen what was a fantastic achievement. We are so lucky that the sport of sailing lets you particpate at whatever your level, whatever your ability - we have a saying over here, "if you can breathe, you can sail" and we have several sailors who do just that, even a guy who sails by sipping a straw..!! Awesome.
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Old 19-07-2009, 07:37   #5
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hi geoff,im a para ,been sailing around the indianocean on a make shift slapstick catamaran...dodging somali pirate b@##$##s and tsunamis...i got my arms and when people get impressed by what i do i pint the credit to the quads,my good mate in uk is a quad and hes my quads got big kahunas...fair winds,will be watching your progress......cheers B .p.s i sailed with trevor jones around uk once long ago on INVENTURE
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Old 19-07-2009, 08:05   #6
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Hi aquavida, thanks for that message, it means a lot - funny, I have other friends who are paras and they say the same thing, obviously a mutual understanding of what we go through. Us quads have a saying that we are only as mobile as the paras pushing us - I know Trevor really well, I'll tell him we spoke. Incidentally, when I finish my Atlantic sail, the owner (himself a para), is planning on taking the boat through the Panama, across Pacific down to NZ - you might get to see him, unless the pirates or tsunami's get to him first...!!
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Old 19-07-2009, 08:37   #7
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I am constantly amazed by people who work around their physical limitations using the power of their mind. Where there is a will there is a way.

I was blown away by Eric Weihenmayer, a blind man, climbing mount Everest and the seven summits - the tallest mountains on every continent. I am an eye doctor, and I never thought I would see a blind man on the top of Mount Everest. Oh me of little faith.

Now we have quadraplegics and paraplegics sailing across oceans. Truely mind blowing.

These sailors remind me to spend my time focusing on my possibilities rather than on my limitations. Once again, I need to look at the world through eyes of possibility.

Thanks for the inspiration.
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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Old 20-07-2009, 20:42   #8
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Aloha and Welcome aboard!
I wish you well in all your endeavors.
Kind regards,

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atlantic crossing, Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, catamaran, wheelchair

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