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 passage making experience.
Antoine is working with Oceano Vox Vendée, a local non-profit organization to raise awareness of environmental issues and conduct researches on psychology during the race.
Why enter the GGR? Antoine says:
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 is a victory but more, I want to realise a dream to sail in the wake of Bernard Moitessier and say, I did it!
Antoine is also using the campaign to raise £1m for The Antoine Cousot Scholarship Fund to give 50 students the opportunity to transform their futures, through flexible, practical education in Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences run by the Open University, which, like the GGR is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Antoine, an Open University graduate says:
The OU changed my openness to the world we’re living in. They came to me with the right tools at the right time, helping me pursue my dreams. Now, I want to share my experience with others – learning is intimately part of our life.
Antoine Cousot’s Biscay 36 was the first of these classic ketch designs, built by Robert Ives/Falmouth Boat Construction in 1975. She returned there during the 2016/7 winter for a full refit. Relaunched in May 2017, Antoine then sailed her during the summer in the gulf of Biscay. The yacht was then exhibited at the 2017 Paris Nautic Boat Show.
|Biscay 36 Masthead Ketch
|Robert Ives/Falmouth Boat Construction (UK)
|35.92ft / 10.95m
|27.23ft / 8.30m
|10.75ft / 3.28m
|5.75ft / 1.75m
|15680lbs / 7112kg
|667sq. ft / 62sq. m
Cousot has won sponsorship from the Vendée based employment agency Métier Intérim and has devoted the early Spring months to getting as much experience as possible in the winter storms of the Atlantic to readiness himself for the Southern Ocean.