BVI Stamps Sailability
- March 31st, 2011
- in Yachting
BVI Puts its Stamp on Sailability
When famed quadriplegic sailor Geoff Holt returned to the BVI last month to celebrate his birthday, he said there was nowhere else he’d rather be. And when BVI Postmaster General Kevin Smith presented him and a group of Sailability BVI sailors with six stamps commemorating their accomplishments against adversity, he said it was the highest honour and best gift he’d received.
“This is the greatest experience,” he told a crowd gathered at the commemoration ceremony outside of Manuel Reef. “I thought you had to be dead to be on stamps.”
A series of six commemorative stamps, which depict Geoff and Sailability sailors in action on the water, are now on sale at the BVI Post Office. Geoff, who was granted belonger status last year after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, was praised by the postmaster for his “tenacity and perseverance” against odds and in the name of his cause. Geoff helped start Sailability in the United Kingdom in 1995. Since that time, the programme that promotes sailing events for disabled individuals claims as many as 25,000 participants.
Four of the programme’s sailors circled the mangroves in the center of Manuel Reef during the ceremony, displaying their polished form and ability that they’ll showcase as they represent the Virgin Islands in Athens for the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
As they sailed, Geoff spoke about the importance of accepting all members of society.
“Inclusion is the way forward,” he said. “It’s the only way we can move forward in humanity. … We have to respect each others’ differences.”
Geoff said he recently visited a disabled youth in Mexico, who asked him how she could one day grow up to be great like him.
“I was upset at that because I’m not great—I’m no different than anybody,” he said, adding that he told her: “Just be proud of who you are and take the journey through the life that’s presented to you.”
2011 Sailing and Watersports Calendar
April 16 – Virgin Queen Pizza Pursuit Race
April 23-25 – Tortola Surf Classic
April 24-30 – Antigua Race Week
May 7-8 – Royal BVI Yacht Club Race & Cruise to the Bitter End Yacht Club
May 21-22 – Quantum Sails IC24 International Regatta
May 27-29 – 37th Annual Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta
May 28- June 4 – BVI Wreck Week
June 4 – Royal BVI Yacht Club Race & Cruise to Jost Van Dyke
June 5 – VISAR Waterworld
June 26 – July 3 – Highland Spring HIHO