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Sun Sail
Geoff Holt
Double amputee hitches VO65 ride
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 13:30

A double leg amputee was drafted into Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Abu Dhabi’s Volvo Ocean Race team for this year’s Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week.

Keith Burhans, a 58-year-old paralympian from the USA, had both his legs amputated in 1995 after he was run over by a boat, but the determined sailor received prosthetic limbs just two months after the tragic accident, got back on the water, and even went on to represent the USA at the Sydney 2000 Games. Thanks to an ADOR Facebook competition, the native New Yorker was named the ‘One4Azzam’, winning him a place on the deck of ADOR’s sleek ‘Azzam’ 65ft yacht for the key August test – the first competitive outing for the new Volvo Ocean 65 Azzam and her revamped ADOR crew.

Speaking before the race, Burhans said: “I am extremely excited to have been chosen as the ‘One4Azzam’, and I’m eager to have the opportunity to demonstrate what a Paralympian sailor can do with a pro-team, I’ll be doing this for all my Paralympian brothers out there.

“I’m excited for the invitation, especially as a disabled person. There are almost no opportunities for a disabled person to join a team like this so this opportunity may be a chip in that glass ceiling.”

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Holidays for all
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 10:30

julygeoffSeafarer’s Nikiana Beach Club has become the first beach and flotilla sailing venue to receive Geoff Holt Accreditation, a new and unique concept within the beach and flotilla sailing sector.

Venues and their facilities are assessed on their physical accessibility against a range of disability scenarios and key staff receive bespoke awareness training. Once accredited, venues work proactively to promote their services to the disability sector with the endorsement of the Geoff Holt Accredited scheme.

Seafarer’s Nikiana Beach Club is one of several holiday destinations promoted by One Stop Sailing. Alasdair Boden, Chief Executive of One Stop Sailing, says: “We wanted to work with Geoff as he is one of the world’s most recognisable and inspirational disabled sailors. By assessing the operators we work with, understanding what disabilities they can cater for, and which disabilities may not be so easily catered for, we can then plug these businesses into Geoff’s network of disabled communities around the world.”

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Abseil The Tower
Friday, 02 May 2014 08:46

Abseil The TowerThe Wetwheels Foundation charity has secured a number of places to abseil the Tower on Sunday 31 August.  

Wetwheels is moored directly below the Spinnaker Tower so you can look down and think of all the good you are doing if, at any point, you need inspiration during your descent. We will be serving celebratory drinks on board Wetwheels to successful abseilors on the day.  To request an Expression of Interest form, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

St George’s Day Breakfast

Mike Golding swapped his oilskins for a business suit then he addressed a sell-out breakfast meeting in aid of a Hampshire charity, the Rose Road Association.  

Organised to coincide with St George’s Day, more than 60 delegates attended the event at the Hilton Hotel, Southampton to hear Mike share some of his record-breaking yachting experiences spanning two decades.

The event was organised by the Rose Road Association to help raise awareness of the work they do with profoundly disabled young people in Hampshire.  Based at the Bradbury Centre in Southampton, Rose Road operate a special needs school alongside their day-care services.  

They also provide outreach services and much needed respite care so they can help relieve the burden of care on parents with profoundly disabled children.

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Miss Isle takes on Sea and Summit challenge
Thursday, 27 February 2014 09:42

Natasha Lambert with her boat, Miss Isle Too © Ranald MackechnieShe had barely been ashore five minutes when she began being asked, “So Natasha, what’s the next challenge?”

On July 1 2013, Natasha Lambert, who was born with athertoid cerebral palsy, which affects her limbs and speech and confines her to a wheelchair, captured the hearts and minds of the national media and many thousands of well-wishers as she successfully completed her historic ‘sip and puff’ sailing Channel crossing.

In what was dubbed her ‘French Connection’ challenge, the 16-year-old conquered the 25 miles from Boulogne to Dover using only her mouth to control the sip-puff system in her Mini Transat, Miss Isle Too. It took just four and a half hours.  

“What’s next?” It’s all she’s been asked ever since - and she’s enjoyed the suspense.But now Natasha is ready to answer that question…

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The Passing Of Rya Sailability
Friday, 03 January 2014 00:00

geoff Holt ColumnMy inbox has been full this month with views of sailors, past and present, regarding the news that the RYA’s charity, RYA Sailability, is to change its name.

Letters from Chairman of the charity, Richard Langford, were sent to Sailability centres around the country explaining the changes.

It will indeed mean the loss of the name RYA Sailability as the charity rebrands itself the RYA Foundation and expands its objectives to widen its focus beyond just disability.

RYA Sailability was formed in November 1995 with the coming together of the RYA’s Seamanship Foundation and Sailability. Over the past 18 years the organisation has seen participation grow from a handful of sites to more than 35,000 participants each year at more than 170 approved Sailability centres.  

Over the same period, the RYA, the national governing body for our sport, has taken responsibility for more and more functions of the charity to the point where disabled boating is almost indistinguishable from all other activities and functions provided by the RYA; these activities are managed within the RYA’s Sailability Programme. In this respect, sailing is light years ahead of many other sports and the envy the world over.

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