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Quad sailor Geoff Holt beats racers to UK's Yachtsman of the Year

by Des Ryan on 12 Jan 2011
Geoff Holt MBE - YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the year James Kennedy
While our own quad sailor Jamie Dunross, who completed an amazing solo circumnavigation of Australia this year did not even get a nomination for Yachting Australia's Sailor of the Year, Quad sailor Geoff Holt has become the UK's YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the Year after sailing solo across the Atlantic.

This massive 2,700 mile feat, achieved in 28 days, impressed the judges so much that they ignored the top world racing sailors to award the impressive accolade to the sailor who was paralysed in an accident at the age of eighteen.

Previous winners of the award, which include some sailors who have become household names, include: Eric Hiscock, Sir Francis Chichester, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Sir Chay Blyth MBE, Sir Edward Heath, Clare Francis, Harold Cudmore, Tracy Edwards MBE, Sir Peter Blake, Dame Ellen MacArthur and Ben Ainslie CBE.

This award is not his first accolade. In 2007 he became the first quadriplegic yachtsman to sail solo around Great Britain and was then named BBC South Sports Personality of the Year.

In December 2009 crossed the Atlantic Ocean on his yacht the Impossible Dream, the first quadriplegic to do so. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours.

The other finalists for the YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the Year award were:

Edward Wright, Finn World Champion and double World Cup Winner and Lucy MacGregor and team, Ladies World Match Racing Winners.

The trophy was presented by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, himself a three times winner of the award.

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