De Roos Willy (Belgium)
With his sailing ship Williwaw and his polar adventures, Belgian explorer Willy de Roos has fired the imagination of many polar enthusiasts.
After having studied in depth the perils and pitfalls of sailing in the polar regions, de Roos succeeded in crossing the Northwest Passage from east to west in 1977, following the footsteps of the legendary explorer Roald Amundsen.
This was the first stage of his ultimate goal: to circumnavigate the two Americas in their entirety.
Stage two was completed in 1979, in addition to a foray in to the Antarctic in the wake of the Belgica, making Willy de Roos the very first person to successfully sail round North and South America.
1983 saw de Roos return to the Antarctic, this time to pay homage to the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. While he was there, he also conducted a scientific project for the Université Catholique de Louvain.
Willy de Roos has written a number of books about his expeditions, including "The Northwest Passage", "Alone in the wake of the caravels", "Inaccessible Horizon".