International sailboat racer to speak at Chicago Maritime Museum

Skip Novak will give a talk tomorrow at the Chicago Maritime Museum in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood.

An international sailboat racer who first set sail on Lake Michigan will regale The Chicago Maritime Museum in the Bridgeport Art Center with tales of his worldwide sailing experience.

Chicago native Skip Novak, considered one of the world’s most enduring long-distance sailors, will give a free talk from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at 1200 W. 35th St. #0E-5010. The talk will focus on an upcoming exhibit at the museum on the bank of Bubbly Creek on the South Side.

“My sailing friends call me the fresh water pirate,” Novak said. “I spent my summers racing on Lehman 10s on Lake Michigan with the Chicago Yacht Club’s Junior Program. The Great Lakes are a good training ground for young sailors. The waters can be quite unpredictable with rough currents and bursts of high wind.”

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Novak sailed in four around-the-world Whitbread races and founded an arctic sailing expedition company after initially learning how to sail in a dinghy in Chicago's Belmont Harbor.

The Chicago Maritime Museum's new exhibit will focus on his adventurous life, which had included climbing the Alps and circumnavigating the globe in a revolutionary new Russian vessel in two different international competitions. It will feature the original Lehman 10 dinghy he first learned to sail on.

For more information, call (773) 376-1982 or visit www.chicagomaritimemuseum.org.


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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.