Norbert Sedlacek Koch
(Norbert Sedlacek Koch, Founder, and Managing Director of Innovation Yachts)

Skipper Norbert Sedlacek Koch set to write sailing history


Austrian skipper Norbert Sedlacek Koch is attempting to sail nonstop, single-handed and without assistance around the world through all five oceans, including Arctic and Southern Ocean. The 60-year old Founder, and Managing Director of Innovation Yachts, will depart on 15th August 2022 for his world extreme sailing as a part of the Ant Arctic Lab project which will take him more than 32.000 nautical miles, around six months through the most dangerous waters on our planet, through ice, stormy waters, the doldrums and many, at the moment unknown, adventures.

Norbert will embark on IY Open60AAL which was built using fully recyclable and environment friendly materials such as volcanic fiber -which resists toughest conditions, like collisions with drifting ice- balsa wood, and harmless epoxy. No fossil fuel ! The IY Open60AAL is fully electric with two electric engines acting also as hydro generators to generate power while sailing. Energy is also generated by solar panels and both sources allow the IY Open60AAL to be energy self-sufficient.

Therefore the purpose of this project is also to promote an environmentally safe sailing and clean yacht construction.

(Courtesy of Innovation Yachts)

Norbert was born on 27th January 1962 in Vienna into a family of Viennese officials. He acquired a compulsory education and then he attended a waiter training in Hilton hotel in Vienna. After a military service and several years as a waiter, in 1984 he moved by his father’s request to Wiener Stadtwerke, a public transport company, located in Vienna. His father wanted him to make an easy career within the public service. After a few years of quiet life, the driving of trams in Vienna started to bore Norbert. Reflecting of his future, he decided to have a more active life and travel around the world.

In 1994, Norbert discovered sailing and he was convinced that this sport is not just a hobby, but his vocation. From that moment, he did everything to become a professional sailor. He was persuaded to pass from the tram to the cockpit of a yacht.

Between 1996 and 1998 he became the first Austrian sailor to circumnavigate single-handed the world, in 2000-2001 he was the first Austrian sailor to circumnavigate Antarctica non-stop, and in 2009 Norbert became the first German speaking Skipper who finished the world’s most extreme sailing race, the Vendée Globe.

As the Skipper of the IY Open60AAL Innovation Yacht during the ANT ARCTIC LAB Challenge he will have the opportunity to set a world’s first and write sailing history.

(IY Open60AAL-Courtesy of Innovation Yachts)

IY Open60AAL Technical details


Hull length: 18.28 m
Hull beam: 5.82 m
Displacement: 9,500 kg
Draft: 4.50 m
Air-draught: 29.00 m
Construction Materials: volcanic fiber – balsa core sandwich, biobased epoxy

Sail Area

Full Batten Main Sail: 170 m²
Big Gennaker: 400 m²
Middle Gennaker: 300 m²
Small Gennaker: 200 m²
Code 0: 140 m²
Genoa: 120 m²
Solent: 110 m²
Staysail: 35 m²
Sturmjib: 20 m²

Design / Architecture

Concept: Norbert Sedlacek Koch, Marion Koch
Design: Marion Koch, Norbert Sedlacek Koch
Architecture: Marion Koch, Vincent Lebailly


Shipyard: Innovation Yachts