Geoff Holt MBE

Yachtsman & Speaker Disability, Entrepreneur & Sports Ambassador

Geoff Holt is a record-setting yachtsman and an award-winning entrepreneur.

‘His story is truly inspirational and really caught the imagination of the whole room. His drive, spirit and determination had the whole audience mesmerised for the whole session. The feedback was fantastic.’ M&S Money

Geoff entered the history books in 2007 when he sailed solo around Great Britain – conquering what Geoff called his ‘personal Everest’. Paralysed from the neck down in an accident at the age of 18, Geoff’s sailing achievement was highly acclaimed: ‘What Geoff achieved was quite extraordinary and took an awful amount of courage.’ Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne

Geoff continues to challenge what seems impossible. In 2010, Geoff became the first quadriplegic to sail unassisted across the Atlantic a voyage of 3,000 miles. ‘Your voyage was nothing short of exceptional, but to me that journey is simply a reflection of you.’ Dame Ellen Macarthur

Recognition of Geoff’s achievements came swiftly including being voted BBC South Sports Personality of the Year (2007). Geoff received a British Airways Great Briton Award and the RYA Francis Elkin Award (2009); an MBE for services to disabled sailing (2010), and the coveted YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the Year (2011) an award that Geoff considers the ‘Knighthood of Yachting.’

Geoff’s entrepreneurial skill was recognized in winning the prestigious Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK in 2015. Geoff is CEO of Wetwheels a CIC company that provides boating opportunities for people of all ages and ability on fully accessible boats. In 2017, Geoff won a Global Award for Philanthropy and in 2018, the National Diversity Entrepreneur of Excellence Award. Geoff has a very inspirational view of life, sport and business and the opportunities they hold. His positive outlook is infectious and it comes across strongly in every speaking engagement.

Although sailing is a key thread in Geoff’s life, Geoff’s story is not about sailing. His life demonstrates the power of the human spirit and it captivates audiences every time he tells it. It is journey through life of an amazing man told with passion and humour. He engages audiences by making them feel involved in every step of that journey and he demonstrates, with great sensitivity, our ability to deal with challenges when they present themselves in life. Above all, it is a ‘feel good’ story leaving audiences up-beat and inspired to do something positive within their own lives.

Geoff’s story is highly motivational and told with humour, thoughtful insight and great photographs and film footage. He has faced adversity, challenged limits and continues to inspire others to maintain a positive attitude no matter what the challenges ahead. Geoff’s marketing background and his recent success as an entrepreneur ensures his business messages are rooted in his experiences both on and off the water – a powerful combination. Founded and run by Geoff, Wetwheels is a Community Interest Company (CIC) that operates fully accessible boats to provide boating opportunities for all.

Feedback from clients across all sectors who have booked Geoff is consistently positive whether for after dinner (or lunch) talks, personal appearances or conference keynotes.

‘Thank you for delivering a fantastic talk. We have had some excellent feedback from dealers who have been using words such as “epic” and “inspirational” with regard to your talk, so I think we can safely say that it was very well received!’ – Suzuki

Geoff is a disability sports ambassador who has inspired countless others.  Geoff’s personal philosophy of ‘no excuses’ lies at the heart of his story: motivating others to live life to the full and conquer challenges no matter what they may be.  He hopes that his voyages and work as a social entrepreneur will inspire others to push their own personal boundaries, take on challenges no matter how difficult and make a difference.

To book Geoff Holt MBE as the motivational speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing agent@championsukplc.com or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

When at corporate events, Geoff is known to cover the following topics:

  • The entrepreneurial spirit: building a business
  • Courage in tough times
  • No excuses: the right attitude makes high performance possible
  • Overcoming adversity & facing a challenge
  • Inspirational Leadership and effective teamwork
  • Embracing diversity
  • Taking opportunities

‘Very many thanks indeed for your really excellent presentation yesterday. Glowing reports are even now rolling in with a lot of folk who come to our event every year saying it’s the best evening we’ve had for ages.  It was really good of you to give us such a brilliant talk with great slides.  I’m sure you could tell by the great ovation from the crowded theatre at the end of your talk.’ Sir Ranulph Fiennes

‘My sincere thanks to Geoff for an incredible presentation at our event. His story is truly inspirational and really caught the imagination of the whole room. His drive, spirit and determination had the whole audience mesmerised for the whole session. The talk fitted in very well with the context of the day and please let Geoff know that the feedback was fantastic.’ M&S Money

‘Thank you for delivering a fantastic talk. We have had some excellent feedback from dealers who have been using words such as “epic” and “inspirational” with regard to your talk, so I think we can safely say that it was very well received!’ Suzuki

‘10/10. Lots of positive feedback about Geoff’s speech. Very engaging.  Self-effacing.  Entertaining and inspiring at the same time and pitched at exactly the right level for the audience. From a personal point of view as the event organiser, Geoff was great to work with and really added something special to the gala dinner.’ The Environment Agency

‘A huge thank you for your after dinner speech on Friday night.  It was a very successful evening and the feedback from guests has been very positive.  Your speech was perfect, moving, inspirational and humorous- many congratulations.’RICS

‘The conference went well and was hugely enriched by your presence and wonderful presentation.  Throughout my (long!) career, I have run many events and had to evaluate them and their impact.  Never before have I recorded a 100% ‘excellent’ for the keynote speaker.

‘The place is buzzing today with people sharing their response/feelings to what you had to say. The words ‘Inspirational’ ‘motivating’ ‘emotional’ have been used over and over in the evaluation forms along with comments as to how staff will now respond to the challenges that they face.’Shropshire NHS PCT

‘It was an excellent day and Geoff’s presentation was most definitely a highlight.  I looked around the room when he was presenting and there wasn’t one person who wasn’t transfixed and I know from speaking to delegates afterwards that many were not only holding back their emotions but incredibly inspired by his journey in life.  I’ve seen Geoff present twice now and would never tire of hearing from him – so humble yet humorous and so ordinary but incredible.’CMG 

To captivate an audience of highly experienced lawyers is impressive.  To find that they heralded you as “inspirational, compelling and unique” is almost miraculous!  That is exactly what Geoff Holt achieved when he was engaged as the keynote speaker at an annual legal conference. Charming, witty and entertaining, the lasting memory of the day, that will be carried by all well into the future is Geoff Holt – a true star.’ Exchange Chambers

‘Geoff had the whole audience fully engaged – he was highly professional and motivating and we would recommend him to anyone looking for a fantastic speaker.’ J.P. Morgan