Disabled sailor looks abroad for round the world bid sponsorship

Geoff Holt after crossing the Atlantic
Geoff Holt after crossing the Atlantic
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DISABLED sailing star Geoff Holt is looking abroad for sponsorship for his bid to sail around the world after failing to attract the cash from British businesses.

Mr Holt, from Shedfield, has been planning the bid to become the first disabled sailor to circumnavigate the globe for the past two years.

But despite his impressive pedigree he has struggled to find sponsorship for his latest record-breaking attempt.

The 46-year-old quadriplegic already holds several records and has won numerous awards – he was the first disabled person to sail single-handed around Britain in 2007 and followed that up sailing unassisted across the Atlantic in 2010.

Later that year he was made an MBE for his services to disabled sailing.

He said: ‘The total cost of the project will be in the £3m to £5m bracket, but it’s not all necessarily from one company, it would be a whole range of sponsors.

‘But we haven’t been able to get the sponsors in this country, so I am looking at taking another disabled person with me.’

As a result Mr Holt is looking at bringing paraplegic French yachtsman and Paralympic table tennis player, Philippe Durieux, onboard with him.

‘I went to a boatshow in Paris and met someone who knew him and they put us in touch,’ he added.

‘He knows none of us are going anywhere without the sponsorship, and I’m not getting anywhere with British corporate sponsorship, so we’re widening the net.

‘With a Frenchman on the project it could attract French companies – the French love their sailing and are really supportive of it.

‘Their companies seem to be more prepared to get involved. But if British companies want to sponsor me, I’d more than gladly talk with them.

Mr Holt has been wheelchair-bound since a diving accident when he was 18. It left him paralysed from the chest down and with only limited use in his arms.

Any businesses interested in backing Mr Holt can contact him through his website, geoffholt.com