Now he plans a new solo bid

A veteran solo circumnavigator is preparing to circle the globe for a fifth time. David Cowper, 56, who took over the McGruer boatbuilding yard on the Clyde some years ago, is provisioning his aluminium sloop Polar Bound for the passage.

Cowper, a chartered accountant, completed his first solo circumnavigation in a 40ft aluminium sloop Ocean Bound in 1980 beating Sir Francis Chichester’s record of 226 days by one day.

He repeated the feat two years later going the ‘wrong way’ round east-west and beat Sir Chay Blyth’s record by 71 days and became the first person to circumnavigate the world in both directions.

In 1984-85 he motored around the world in a converted wooden lifeboat, the Mabel E. Holland, via the Panama Canal becoming the first person to circumnavigate the world solo in a motor boat.

In 1990 he completed the first solo circumnavigation in a motor-boat via the Northwest Passage and is now planning to complete the North East passage over the top of Russia in a new aluminium boat Polar Bound.

His close friend, Ted Wood, 73, a well known East Coast-based stainless steel fabricator in the marine industry, who is still working, told YM: ‘It makes me so mad that David just won’t sell himself. He’s got all these records yet he has no knighthood or any other recognition.’