The OCC Lifetime Cruising Award to British sailor David Scott Cowper

The OCC Lifetime Cruising Award to British sailor David Scott Cowper

...for tackling the world’s most difficult sea routes while completing six circumnavigations.

By Daria Blackwell - 22/01/2018


The OCC Lifetime Cruising Award, a new award for 2017, goes to British sailor David Scott Cowper, for tackling the world’s most difficult sea routes while completing six circumnavigations and eight Arctic crossings using all routes available. His last circumnavigation tool place via the Hecla and Fury Straits, in which he, accompanied by his son aboard the specially designed aluminium motorboat Polar Bound, became the first to navigate this passage since its discovery in 1822. This was his third circumnavigation in Polar Bound.

Scott Cowper became well known in the 1970s and ‘80s for various sailing exploits, including competing in The Observer Round Britain and Ireland Race and the Singlehanded Transatlantic Race (OSTAR). In 1982 he achieved fame when he completed two circumnavigations in his 41ft Huisman-built S&S sloop Ocean Bound and became the fastest person to sail singlehanded around the world in both directions, breaking Sir Francis Chichester’s record by a day and Chay Blyth’s by 72 days.

Scott Cowper’s move from sail to power in 1984 was based on his interest in the Arctic, where navigation often takes place under power. His preparatory cruise around the world via the Panama Canal in a former RNLI lifeboat, the Mabel E Holland, achieved him the honour of being the first person to circumnavigate solo in a motorboat, and the first to do so via sail and power. In 1986, he embarked on a circumnavigation via the Northwest Passage which took four years, concluding in 1989. In 2012 he made the passage via the McClure Strait, the most demanding and northerly of the seven known routes.

The Frozen Frontier: Polar Bound through the Northwest Passage about his polar expeditions was written by his companion and co-adventurer Jane Maufe. David lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne. He is a Chartered Building Surveyor and a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, but his passion is sailing.

Photo credit (c) Jane Maufe. David awaiting a favourable tide to carry us through the Unimak Pass in the Aleutian chain from the North Pacific into the Bering sea in 2013.


Other Recent News Stories


OCC on Instagram

@ ocean_cruising_club