Geoff Holt MBE
I have spent most of my life at sea in some form or another.
In my early years I sailed the oceans of the world on magnificent yachts. After breaking my neck and becoming paralysed as a young man, my physical abilities changed but my horizons remained the same.
In the past three decades, as a Chairman and Trustee of a national sailing charity, I have witnessed countless thousands of disabled people enjoy the freedom and enjoyment that being on the water brings.
Nothing gives me greater pleasure than witnessing that moment when a face lights up at the thrill of being afloat. I've come to realise that it doesn't matter whether it be sailing or motor boating, it is being on the water which makes the difference.
For me it is like leaving my disability on the dock: at sea I am equal to my fellow crew mates, regardless of our abilities. I have been fortunate to buy my own 9 metre motor catamaran so I can enjoy that experience regularly but, in so doing, I have made my boat accessible for all disabilities. I called my boat Wetwheels. From the moment I saw the pleasure she gave others, I realised I had stumbled upon a winning formula.
In her first year of operation, I was lucky to witness nearly 700 disabled people experience the sheer thrill of being at sea on my boat. This is one toy that I want to share. Wetwheels provides an opportunity to experience power boating but is limited to only a small number of disabled people in my region. It is my wish to see more Wetwheels offering the same life-changing opportunities to disabled people in communities around our coast.
I am so pleased that I was able to visit Jersey for a few magical days in the spring of 2012. In just three days, 90 disabled children and adults had the Wetwheels experience. A seed of an idea was sown and I am delighted that a new boat has been built for disabled people in the Channel Islands.
I just know the pleasure she will bring to many thousands of people and I am proud to be a Trustee of the Trust that will operate her.