PIONEERING disabled yachtsman Geoff Holt MBE has launched a groundbreaking 360 degree open water video adventure for land-locked young disabled people.

Geoff is the founder of the Hamble based Wetwheels charity that has provided barrier-free opportunities for all disabled people to access the sea aboard specially-built, fully accessible powerboats since its inception in 2011.

The Wetwheels’ immersive video has been created to give young disabled people, particularly those who have been shielding during the coronavirus pandemic, the seafaring experience on virtual reality headsets from their home, school or care setting. It will also be made available on YouTube.

At the launch, held at Treloar College in Alton, students were given the first opportunity to experience the trailblazing video ride and enjoy life on the open wave.

The high definition film, which features 360 degree boat and sea views, uses specialist software to bring the same exhilaration that a Wetwheels powerboat ride gives on the water to land-locked disabled people.

Geoff was paralysed in a swimming accident in 1984 and uses a wheelchair. In 2007, he became the first disabled person to sail single-handed around Great Britain and in 2009, he sailed unassisted across the Atlantic Ocean.

Wetwheels now operates from Hamble and Portsmouth and locations in Kent, Cornwall, Yorkshire and Jersey - allowing disabled people to actively participate on a coastal boat ride to help build confidence and improve their wellbeing.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Geoff recognised the isolation felt by disabled young people who were unable to leave their homes, let alone get on the sea.

He said: “My lightbulb moment for this video was triggered by a conversation I had with Juno Hollyhock, CEO of Southampton’s Rose Road Association, about how many disabled people were profoundly affected by ‘Covid isolation’ and needed to get out and about.

“Juno said that Wetwheels was top of her list to take the children to as soon as the coronavirus restrictions were eased."