Author of our Storm Sailing series wins award for encouraging adventure cruising

In recognition of his many years of encouraging sailors to undertake extreme adventures through his writing and documentaries, and notably Yachting World’s Storm Sailing Techniques series, Skip Novak has been awarded the Ocean Cruising Club’s Geoff Pack Memorial Award.

Skip was an obvious person to whom to turn for our series. He has spent 26 seasons in Tierra del Fuego, South Georgia and Antarctica leading sailing and combined climbing and sailing expeditions. Besides being a sailor, Skip is probably the world’s most accomplished and experienced Antarctic and sub-Antarctic mountaineer. He runs a very successful yacht charter business, Pelagic Expeditions.

Skip was born in Chicago in 1952. He is best known for racing in four Whitbread Round the World Yacht Races since 1977. At the age of 25, he navigated King’s Legend to 2nd place, skippered Independent Endeavour in 1979, then Simon Le Bon’s Drum in the 1985/86 race, coming 3rd.

In 1989 he was project manager and skipper of Fazisi, the first Soviet entry in the Whitbread Race.

He has also raced round the world in maxi multihulls, co-skippering the 33m catamaran Innovation Explorer to 2nd place in The Race, the non-stop, no limits circumnavigation in 2001.

In 1987 he built the 54ft steel cutter Pelagic and has since spent every season since in Antarctic waters. He recently sailed to the Antarctic yet again in Pelagic to spend Christmas and New Year there with his family and to help with a children’s documentary on penguins which is being filmed for the BBC.

Don’t miss our Storm Sailing series of online videos and features in print, which covers all the fundamentals for serious offshore sailing, from preparation to storm sails, heaving to, reefing, using a tender for expeditions, tying to shore, anchoring, using warps and drogues, and much more. Click here to read more and watch the latest episode.