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19.01.11 YJA Yachtsman of the Year – Geoff Holt


Followers of Slipstream at @weareslipstream will have read that Slipstream client, and disabilty sports ambassador Geoff Holt was named the Pantaneus Yachting Journalists Association Yachstman of the Year.

Joining such names as Dame Ellen Macarthur, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dee Caffari, Sir Francis Chichester (the list reads like a “who’s who” in the history of yachting in our country) Geoff Holt receives this annual award in 2010 for his Personal Atlantic crossing, becoming the first quadraplegic to sail across the Atlantic, and performing an emotional personal return to the BVI’s, scene of Geoff’s shallow water accident in 1984.

Geoff comments on his blog:

In my acceptance speech (I promise you, unrehearsed), I made the point that sailing isn’t all about racing and hopefully the YJA, in awarding me the honour, share my views. That’s not a swipe at racing – we all love to compete – me particularly, but sometimes we need to step back and think what it is about sailing that we love so much. I think it is simply that it gives us an opportunity to learn about ourselves and to have the privilege of being part of such a precious environment using only the elements; it’s very empowering and, excuse the cliché, it is the most level of all sporting playing fields. In what other sport could a quadriplegic’s name sit alongside such a prestigious list of yachting heroes on a trophy like this?  I hope it encourages all sailors, whether they be “superstars” competing in the Southern Ocean or week-end sailors on a local lake, to appreciate how much pleasure we get out of our sailing and to give something back.  Having a few “superstars” of our sport give a little bit of their time to help promote sailing and, for example, the work of RYA Sailability, would be a great way of giving back.  I’ve been doing my little bit for nearly two decades and it gives me as much enjoyment helping others to go sailing as it does when I’m out on the water.

Congratulations to Geoff from the team at Slipstream, and thanks for bringing the trophy into our Southampton offices for a team viewing!

More Geoff coverage:

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