A quadriplegic adventurer received a warm Pembrokeshire welcome this weekend after stopping off in the county as part of a record- breaking first of its kind challenge.

Geoff Holt MBE DL set sail from St Katherine’s Dock, London on May 13, circumnavigating the UK coastline, in a specially adapted Wetwheels boat, in just over a month.

Yesterday Geoff and his team stopped off at Milford Haven, one of 17 accessible ports across the country to be visited during the challenge.

This is the first time a Wetwheels boat has ever been to Wales and the aim of Geoff’s Finishing The Dream challenge is raise enough funds to house a permanent Wetwheels boat in Wales.

Geoff was paralysed in a swimming accident in 1984 and has spent 40 years in a wheelchair facing and overcoming often unimaginable challenges.

His adventurous spirit and determination for exploration has seen him achieve things most people would think were impossible. In 2007 he became the first severely disabled person to sail single-handed around Great Britain. In 2009, he was the first quadriplegic to sail across the Atlantic Ocean unassisted.

He was awarded an MBE for Services to Sailing in 2010 and named ‘Yachtsman of the Year’ shortly after.

In 2011 Geoff set up his own charity The Wetwheels Foundation, to enable disabled people to access the sea barrier-free in purpose-built, state-of-the-art motor boats.

This is Geoff’s final adventure in his quest to raise £1.2m for the Wetwheels Foundation to purchase four new specially adapted Wetwheels boats. These would offer life-changing experiences to over 5,000 of the most profoundly disabled people each year.

In Milford Haven his team paired up with south Pembrokeshire’s Blue Horizons, an adaptive surf school that also runs accessible boat trips for people with additional needs.

Some of the CIC’s projects have included rehabilitation surf therapy for patients recovering from brain injuries in conjunction with Hwyel Dda health board, taking a 96-year-old with dementia from a local nursing home out to sea and offering ng surf experiences for all through its community projects for people with disabilities.

“Last year we were fortunate enough to win the inclusive tourism award at the Croseo awards,” said Blue Horizon’s Ollie Bird.

“We also made contact with a fantastic charity called The Wetwheels foundation and Geoff Holt MBE, it’s founder.”

That contact resulted in a day of collaboration as Wetwheels and Blue Horizons ran boat trips out of the marina together, showing and inspiring the community what can be possible.

“Our layover day at Milford Haven was filled with so much fun and laughter with the guys from Blue Horizons CIC Surf Club and Port of Milford Haven,” said Geoff and his team.

“We ran two boat trips, full of memories that will last a lifetime,” added the Blue Horizon team.

Geoff said that for the past 40 years the sea had been his salvation.

“The freedom and independence I get when I am afloat, I can forget about my disability.

“I have devoted most of my life to promoting the opportunities and benefits sailing offers disabled people and now this is my opportunity to spread that message throughout the United Kingdom.”

“My biggest hope is we can inspire more disabled people to join us for an experience on Wetwheels. Hopefully this will also inspire people to raise money to achieve my dream of acquiring another four Wetwheels boats, making a total of 12 around the UK.”

To find out more about Geoff’s Finishing the Dream mission, the Wetwheels charity and to make a donation, visit finishingthedream.co.uk, linked above.