Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Quadriplegic Adventurer Geoff Holt Sets Sail on Record-breaking UK Coastline Challenge

14th May 2024
Geoff Holt MBE DL has dedicated his life to providing access to the sea for disabled people, demonstrating that there are no limits to what can be achieved. ‘Finishing The Dream’ is the incredible challenge he is undertaking for 2024
Geoff Holt MBE DL has dedicated his life to providing access to the sea for disabled people, demonstrating that there are no limits to what can be achieved. ‘Finishing The Dream’ is the incredible challenge he is undertaking for 2024 Credit: Jonathan Cole

Involving months of planning and preparation, quadriplegic adventurer Geoff Holt MBE DL set sail from St. Katherine’s Dock, London in a record-breaking challenge to circumnavigate the UK coastline.

The official ‘Finishing the Dream’ journey will call at 17 accessible ports across the country in a fully accessible Cheetah Marine power catamaran to raise £1.2m for the registered charity Wetwheels Foundation via the team’s Just Giving page.

Dedicating his life to providing access to the sea for disabled people, culminating in this latest and final challenge, Geoff hopes to raise funds for four new Wetwheels boats, which will offer life-changing experiences to over 5,000 of the most profoundly disabled people each year.

The Challenge

Geoff and his team will head west along the South Coast, calling in at various ports to help raise awareness of his adventure. He will also take time to call in at the eight current Wetwheels locations that deliver thousands of boat trips around the UK each year to disabled people.

The route is estimated to take him 4-6 weeks to complete. It will be undertaken in a disability-accessible Wetwheels Cheetah Marine power catamaran, with a small support team following the journey. Stops will incorporate some of the UK’s most famous ports, including Dover, Falmouth, Holyhead, Bangor, Oban, Whitby, and Lowestoft, finishing up back in the UK’s capital.

The Lord Mayor of London, Michael Mainelli, joined Geoff and his team before their departure from St. Katharine’s Dock, commenting: “I’m delighted to see Geoff and his team set off on this remarkable challenge for an inspiring cause in which my mayoral theme ‘Connect to Prosper Experiment Series’ will play a part. Throughout the journey, Geoff and the team will be sampling and collecting microplastics along the UK coastline as part of the Suzuki Clean Ocean Project.

“As one of the greatest threats to our oceans and marine wildlife which is worth more than $1.5tn to world economies per year, it’s integral that the City of London is at the forefront of tackling the challenge of microplastics and providing a hub for thought leaders to connect. Wetwheels' work at the forefront of scientific advances that drive improvements of our environment while meeting its incredible objective of opening the water for those who otherwise are unable to access it, is an inspiration to us all.”

As he embarked on his final Wetwheels challenge, Geoff Holt MBE DL comments: “Today is the start of the next chapter in my life and possibly my biggest challenge to date. Having spent 40 years in a wheelchair, paralysed from the chest down, the sea has been my salvation, the freedom and independence I get when I am afloat, I can forget about my disability. I have devoted most of my life to promoting the opportunities and benefits sailing offers disabled people and now this is my opportunity to spread that message throughout the United Kingdom.

“I am very honoured that the Lord Mayor of London himself, Michael Mainelli, has taken time out of his busy schedule to officially start the challenge, and where better, than Tower Bridge in our capital city of London. I am really looking forward to the next few weeks although I am very much aware of the challenges ahead, not least the physical and mental impact on myself on the boat for up to 8 hours a day but also the massive logistical challenge for our shore team as we travel around the UK.

“My biggest hope is we can inspire more disabled people to join us for an experience on Wetwheels. Hopefully this will also inspire people to raise money to achieve my dream of acquiring another four Wetwheels boats, making a total of 12 around the UK.

“The 1,500-mile journey will be a test for not only my physical endurance but also a mental challenge as I juggle the logistics of navigating through some of the most dangerous and congested waters in the world.

“Only when I cross the finish line back in London and we hit our fundraising targets, will I allow myself to relax. Hopefully, by demonstrating that a quadriplegic, 40 years paralysed from the chest down, still has the ability to achieve his dreams will inspire more disabled people to find out about Wetwheels and support the amazing work we do.”

Published in News Update Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven't put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full-time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button