Adventurer David Scott Cowper’s attempt to become the first person to circumnavigate the globe single-handedly has been delayed after his boat developed mechanical problems near the Falkland Islands.
Cowper’s 15-meter vessel, Polar Bound—which has been covered with Akzo Nobel protective coatings—needed new bearings which took more than a month to arrive from the UK.
The lengthy delay means that he has missed his opportunity to get through the Bering Straits before they freeze over, so Cowper has decided to stay in the Falklands until November, when he will resume his attempt to sail around the world “the wrong way.”
Polar Bound, which has been specially constructed to resist polar pack ice, was built from 13 tons of aluminum and has been coated with International’s Inerta 160. The deck areas are protected with Intershield 851 and the topsides with Interthane 990.
Cowper set off from the UK in January and he reached Ascension Island in March. The second leg of his trip took him to the Falkland Islands, but three days after setting sail for Valparaiso in Chile he suffered engine trouble and was forced to limp back to Port Stanley in the Falklands, where he has decided to stay until he resumes his journey.
Once he gets underway again in November, he will travel up the west coast of South and North America to the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia, where he will begin to cross the 4,500-mile North East Passage (where temperatures can drop as low as -40 degrees centigrade.
From there it’s on to Spitzbergen in Norway and finally across the North Sea back to the UK.
Cowper, who has already sailed around the world four times, holds 32 trans-oceanic records, including the fastest time for sailing single-handedly around the world.