Antoine Cousot is a professional sailor based in Noirmoutier, France, with his wife and three children. He has sailed the equivalent of three times around the world, delivering boats and skippering large luxury yachts. With over 15 oceans crossing under his belt, Antoine has extensive experience and skills on boat handling and passage making.
He has purchased the first Alan Hill designed Biscay 36 built by The Falmouth Boat Co in 1975 where she was returned last winter for a 9-month refit. She was relaunched in May, renamed Goldstar, and now Antoine is about to embark on his 2,000-mile solo qualification cruise from the Vendée to the Azores and back before returning to Falmouth to make final preparations for the Race. He is using this campaign to launch the Antoine Cousot scholarship fund with the Open University, their goal to raise £1m to inspire people and change 50 lives through education to mark the 50th anniversary of the University and the GGR.
Antoine writes: I first discovered sailing doing a delivery trip in the West Indies. It was an unforgettable week cruising between the islands before crossing the North Atlantic Ocean, a voyage that changed my life. For the next 15 years I discovered the world and its people. From the Arctic to Cuba, from Brazil to Asia via the River Nile, I have continuously explored a planet that knows how to be generous to men but also experienced the turmoil and violence of the ocean and the fear associated with long hours of solitude at the helm.
Why enter the GGR? It is a unique opportunity to take this relationship with the sea even further.It is a challenge to accomplish what few sailors have done before ; It is a quest with cosmic dimensions.
I have had to give up an international career, a comfortable living and sell my house and boat. I have returned to France with my family and created a company to manage this project. This entrepreneurship has its ups and downs and is very demanding but all in all a rich experience of personal teaching and discipline that will help me in whatever I decide to do after.
As for others, just getting to the start be a victory but more, I want to realize a dream to sail in the wake of Bernard Moitessier and say, I did it.