IN A year that has seen disabled sailor Geoff Holt made an MBE and crowned sailor of the year, his latest honour takes some licking.
The 44-year-old, who is quadriplegic, is now appearing on stamps issued by the British Virgin Islands to mark his 3,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic to the Caribbean paradise.
Scenes of his arrival at Tortola in January last year now appear on the 40c, 50c and $1.50 stamps.
And the islands’ authorities invited him back out there for the stamps’ launch.
Mr Holt, from Shedfield near Fareham, said: ‘It’s a great, great honour.
‘It all came about from when I was there last January.
‘I met the postmaster general at a meeting and I jokingly said it would be nice to commemorate the trip and charity Sailability.
‘I didn’t think any more about it and then a few weeks ago I got sent these proofs.
‘After that they got the Royal assent and agreed to take us back out there. It’s all been very exciting.
‘Who ever thinks they are going to be on a stamp? It’s very kind of them.’
Returning to Tortola at the end of his epic journey across the Atlantic was doubly emotional for Mr Holt – not only did it mark the completion of his task, it was also where he had the accident that left him disabled 25 years earlier when he dived into shallow water.
Mr Holt, his wife Elaine and son Timmy were all flown out for the launch.
Some of the youngsters from BVI Sailability, a charity that provides access to sailing for everyone, were also at the launch.
Mr Holt added: ‘The launch was actually on my birthday and the sixth birthday of Sailability, which was completely coincidental, but it was lovely.
‘The premiere and governor were all there and everyone sang me Happy Birthday.’