Geoff Holt - the 2010 YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the Year

Quadriplegic transatlantic yachtsman finally gets the gong

Tuesday January 11th 2011, Author: Fiona Williams, Location: United Kingdom

Today, British yachtsman Geoff Holt MBE won the coveted title of YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the Year for 2010. The announcement was
made at an awards ceremony held at Trinity House, London. Southampton based Geoff, 44, became the first quadriplegic to sail across the Atlantic when he sailed into the British Virgin Islands on 7 January 2010, overcoming personal adversity and achieving his own impossible dream.

It took 28 days to complete the 2,700 mile voyage. Geoff was also the first disabled person to sail solo around Great Britain and has been awarded an MBE for services to disabled sailing.

The other finalists for the YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the Year award were Edward Wright and Lucy Macgregor and her team. Finn World Champion and double World Cup Winner, Ed is one of the true heavy hitters of the Finn class. This year he took first place in the Rolex Miami OCR , Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE, Mallorca, the North American Championship and the Finn Gold Cup in San Francisco. Lucy MacGregor and team are the Ladies World Match Racing Winners. Having gained National, European and World Championship titles and rapidly risen through the ranks to lead the World rankings, Lucy MacGregor and her team are a promising prospect for the future of British sailing.

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

The 2010 YJA Pantaenius Young Sailor of the Year was announced at a separate ceremony held on Saturday 8th January at the Tullett
Prebon London International Boat Show. 18 year old Izzy Hamilton from Holsworthy in North Devon was presented with the Award by Match
Racing winner Lucy MacGregor.

Izzy picked up her third Youth National title in April 2010. Izzy won a Silver medal at the European Youth Championships in Sopopt, Poland
and another Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. Izzy has just successfully defended her class Youth World title in Cyprus becoming Britain’s first ever double windsurfing Youth World Champion.

Izzy was amongst the nominations for this year’s Award, 12 of which were for RYA Regional Young Sailor of the Year winners who are voted
for by RYA affiliated sailing clubs and who were also presented with their awards by Mike Golding. These young sailors have made a significant impact on youth sailing, ranging from gold medal winning achievements and overcoming adversity, to the huge amount of hard work and effort they give back to their clubs.

Photos by OnEdition

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