The world of powerboating is opening up to thousands of disabled people in the West Country and beyond with the launch of Wetwheels South West, a custom built, fully accessible, £200k catamaran in Falmouth.
The Wetwheels charity was founded in 2011 by Geoff Holt MBE DL – a lifelong sailor who was paralysed in a swimming accident in 1984 – whose passionate mission has been to give people of all ages, including those with the most profound disabilities, the opportunity to get out on the water in an exhilarating, safe, stimulating and rewarding way.
He said: “This is a very proud moment for me personally and a testament to the hard work of everyone involved in Wetwheels.
“When I founded Wetwheels, it was with the aim to make the sea accessible to all disabilities, including those most excluded. It had to be a highly sensory experience and I designed the boat with a ramp to the wheel so, for a moment in time, anyone with a disability, could be captain of a powerboat.
“I am delighted we now have six boats, collectively taking in excess of 7,000 people a year to sea. Only out there does the real magic happen, you leave your disability on the dock and have a truly memorable adventure on the ocean.”
The Falmouth-based Wetwheels South West is the latest of six vessels based around the coast with the first launching in the Solent, then Jersey, Hamble, Whitby and Dover.