Tune in at 16:00 London, 19:00 UAE

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Thursday's Connector of the Day – Geoff Holt

January 13th, 2010
04:31 PM ET

In a remarkable story of courage and hope, 42-year-old Geoff Holt has become the first quadriplegic to sail across the Atlantic all by himself.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/13/art.jpg caption ="Geoff Holt became the first quadriplegic to sail across the Atlantic."]

Geoff has been paralyzed for 25 years, but he didn’t let that stop him sailing his boat named the Impossible Dream more than 4,000 kilometers on a trip that began in December.

The voyage which took him from the Caribbean to Southampton saw Geoff battle difficult sailing conditions and mechanical problems throughout much of his journey.

At times during his adventure, there was almost no wind – making the sail nearly impossible.

On his voyage, he was accompanied by a carer and filmed by a cameraman.

However, even with the company, Geoff sailed the 18-meter catamaran all on his own.

It was a remarkable achievement for a man that was tragically paralyzed in a diving accident.

Instead of giving in to the horrible challenges that faced him, Geoff fought through the difficulties that lie ahead of him and only thought of the positives.

It’s a true story of courage and determination.

We’d like to know what you think about Geoff and his amazing adventure.

Is this a journey you think you could have made? How difficult was it being quadriplegic? What kind of changes did you have to make throughout the journey?

Please post your question below.

Filed under:  General
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. fegi100

    I'm curious as to how you changed the mast...details please?

    January 13, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  2. wendy

    What is the source of your strength? thanks

    January 13, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  3. Siyad Hajir

    Who motivated you for these hard work that you have done ?and what is your next dreams?


    January 14, 2010 at 9:30 am | Reply
  4. Daniel Dyner

    Just Unbelievable and Wonderful. I want to hear from you on your next adventure. Congratulations.

    January 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  5. Andrew Wilcox

    I salute Mr. Geoff Holt for his courage and determination to embark on this remarkable voyage. It only goes a long way to encourage others with one form of disability or the other.

    This is a strong message of encouragement to tell others not to be discouraged by their disabilties. There is ability in disability.


    January 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  6. DecJude

    This is a wonderful adventure, but Geoff must acknowledge the almighty God & His divine providence, bravo!!! you have created a landmark.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  7. wilson

    I fully support what he did.I think he's a brave man. Nothing is imposible.

    January 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  8. Louise

    Hi Geoff,
    I'm so moved by your experience. It makes me want to do something impactful.
    What do you hope people take away from your experience? Do you think it will change lives?

    January 14, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Reply

    In being a quad, the daily routine of everyday life is a struggle, with no help from God. For Geoff to accomplish such a feat is remarkable. Not only is it encouraging for SCI patients but for everyone.

    As for God's divine providence, keep it for yourself. Geoff doesn't need it. He did it on his own, without any help from God. If God was there to intervence and protect him in the first place, Geoff wouldn't be a quad.

    Give credit where credit is due and don't diminish Geoff's accomplishments and abilities by giving credit to a mythical God.

    January 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  10. Chuka christopher

    You are stunning & unbelievable.Move on

    January 14, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  11. Peter

    Hello Geoff,

    It's great hearing about your amazing accomplishment,
    My question is , What was the most amazing experience
    during your adventure?... did you see any whales or sharks, or huge waves? What was it like to be way out there so far from the shoreline?
    It's always been my dream to sail around the world, however due to financial, and other difficulties, it hasn't happened yet!
    one more question, Waht is your next destination?
    Thank you for your time,
    Best Wishes,

    January 14, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  12. Peter J

    This is very inspiring – If he his "quadriplegic" and not paraplegic, how is he holding that cup? Does he have prosthetic limbs?

    DecJude – Religious much? Why can't people like you just realize that every human, on their own, is physically capable of accomplishing feats like the above – it just takes tremendous amounts of courage, mental strength and devotion.

    Geoff Holt did this on his own...And god did not make him quadriplegic either. He just became that way due to physical conditions. People dive, people get hit by busses, get in automobile accidents, electrical accidents...all just due to the sometimes unfortunate, chaotic complexity of life as we know it (or think we know it). – If there were a god to purposefully make people this way – he would be a douchebag.

    January 14, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  13. Adam

    Congratulations. I am a pleasure sailor as well who has completed a circumnavigation. I have had some rather hairy experiences with fully able bodied single-handed sailors before, and in general my opinion is that single-handed open-ocean sailing is a bit irresponsible given the risks not only to yourself but fellow seamen, and maybe more so if you are a quadriplegic. How would you respond to this?

    January 14, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  14. Adama

    I think that your achievement is tremendous. This goes further to show that God is the greatest: He works 2ru people like U 2 make Us human more humble. So keep beleiving go 4 more, He wil see U 2ru it 4 sure cos I know U trust in Him.

    January 14, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Reply

    I totally agree with your post. As for your question about Geoff holding the cup, I am a quad and am lucky to have the ability to hold a cup. My fingers are partially paralyzed but I can still eat with utensils, vacuum, mop the floor, cook,drive a car, peck on the computer, etc.. When I was in the hosptial recovering, I never thought I'd accomplish these tasks but I do. It took a whole lot of time and patience. I've been a quad for 3 1/2 years and I progress a little at a time. The body somehow adapts and compensates for disabilties, if you are motivated and continue to exercise. I still struggle but I'm living on my own and take care of my 7 year old son.

    I give Geoff a whole lot of credit for pursuing his dream and successfully making it a reality. He is proof that disabilties can make you more able. As for the purveyors of negativity who question Geoff's judgment, you only live once and if you don't take risks, you will never succeed.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:22 am | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.