David Scott Cowper is a British yachtsman, and was the first man to sail solo round the world in both directions and was also the first to successfully sail around the world via the Northwest Passage single-handed.
A summary of David Scott Cowper’s sailing voyages
David’s long & illustrious sailing career began 45 years ago when he competed in the Round Britain Race in his own 29' sailing boat, Airedale. He then went on to compete in the Observer Single handed transatlantic race. In 1979 he made his first solo circumnavigation of the world in an Easterly direction in his 41’ sailing boat Ocean Bound around all five Capes and was the fastest to do so, followed two years later by gaining the record for the fastest Westerly solo circumnavigation. ‘He was the first person in the world ever to sail in both directions around all five Capes’
In 1984 he was the first person ever to do a solo circumnavigation of the world purely under power in an ex RNLI lifeboat, the Mabel E. Holland. In 1986 to 1990 he was the first person ever to do a solo circumnavigation around the world via the Northwest Passage, again in his lifeboat. In 2002, he made another circumnavigation, this time in his custom made aluminium motor boat, Polar Bound down to the Falkland’s, South Georgia and Antarctica around Cape Horn, and returned up the West coast of South and North America, and once again through the Northwest Passage.
In 2009, again in Polar Bound, he transited the Northwest Passage continuing on down to Antarctica, the Falklands, South Georgia, Capetown, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, Aleutian Islands and back through the Northwest Passage. In the course of this, he also carried out an amazing search and rescue of an American beacon on behalf of NASA, a most remarkable feat requiring pinpoint accuracy of a 10mm small rod poking out of the waves about one foot in length.
In 2012 he was the first ever to succeed in transiting the North West Passage by the most northerly route through Lancaster Sound, Parry Channel and the McClure Strait (this time accompanied by Mrs. Jane Maufe, (a great niece of Sir John Franklin), and down to Alaska, and the following year transiting the Northwest Passage back to the United Kingdom. ‘The Frozen Frontier’ written by Jane Maufe describes their adventures.
In 2016 he was the first ever to transit the Hecla/Fury Strait, East to West accompanied by his son, and returned back again the following year via the Northwest Passage with Jane Maufe, making a total of 8 transits.