Director, Sailing Operations
Skip Novak is widely considered the world’s pre-eminent authority on polar sailing. As the builder and operator of both Pelagic and Pelagic Australis, he has traveled to Antarctica every year for three decades and set new standards in expedition yacht construction and design.
Skip’s notable sailing includes four Whitbread Round the World Yacht Races since 1977. In these races, he navigated the British Cutter Kings Legend to 2nd place and Simon Le Bon’s Drum to 3rd place. He also was project manager and skipper of the Fazisi, the first Soviet entry in the Whitbread Race.
In addition to sailing, he is a skilled mountaineer, and has partaken in climbing expeditions to New Zealand, the Alps, East Africa, Sikkim, Nepal, Patagonia, South Georgia and Antarctica. Wanting to combine his two passions of skiing and mountaineering led him to design the expedition yacht Pelagic in 1987. In 2003, he built the larger, 23-meter Pelagic Australis, and he continues to operate both vessels under charter for Pelagic Expeditions.
He is frequently asked to comment on high latitude adventuring and ocean sailing by radio, TV and print media. He is a regular contributor to many sailing magazines worldwide and currently has a monthly column for Yachting World. In 2015 Skip was awarded the prestigious Blue Water Medal from the Cruising Club of America for his lifetime of voyaging to high latitudes, and in 2016 was awarded the Tilman Award by the Royal Cruising Club of London for his work pioneering Antarctic sailing expeditions.
In 2016, Skip joined EYOS Expeditions as Director of Sailing Operations, combining unsurpassed expertise in both sailing and motor yachts under one company.