Antoine Douguet from Deauville in France is the 22nd entry in the Global Solo Challenge; he has always dreamed of sailing around the world as part of a race or an event, but the budget required to enter any existing race stood in the way.
Douguet has a passion for classical boats and he will be able to sail his 41.6ft steel-built, 1962 launched Frans Maas designed ‘Dur au Mal…’ in the race.
We put some questions to Antoine:
Where does your passion for sailing come from?
I grew up between Paris and French Polynesia and always have had passion for the sea and anything related. My first relation with the ocean was from fishing and soon had enough of the sound of the engines.
One of my very best friends had sailed across the Atlantic on board a wooden 6.50 and I had admiration and envy for his trips. Later he bought a 39′ ketch and took me with him from Brussels to Chile via Antarctica and Cape Horn. My decision was made, I will sail on my own boat from now on.
What lessons have you learnt from sailing?
Sailing is a source of inspiration and humility, it teaches attentiveness, anticipation, resourcefulness, patience and prioritisation.
What brought you to like single-handed sailing?
At some point, when sailing with a crew, you have to deal with deadlines, air-planes to catch, jobs to go back to and so on. It is quite difficult to have your crew always available at the same time as you are and as a consequence, you just leave on your own.
What prompted you to sign up for this event?
I have always been interested in sailing around the world on my own as part of a race but today the main issue is the budget if you want to be competitive. on the other hand my passion goes for classic sailing more than carbon made sea Formula Ones.
How do you plan to prepare for this event?
I plan to sail as much as I can offshore as well as part of regattas so as to reach a point as close as possible to perfection in term of settings and sails management.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is to maintain concentration, speed and state of the boat and sails for such a long period of time.
Tell us about your boat or the boat you would like to have.
My boat was built in 1962 by Frans Maas in Netherlands, she is a unique piece that was used as a prototype for the Breeon Class. She was made of steel with an overall length of 41.6ft.
The original mast has been replaced in 2015. The boat is sloop rigged but might be converted into a cutter before the event in order to be able to set more sails. I purchased her in mid-2019 and have had her undergo a massive refurbishment of the hull, electric circuits, electronics, running rigging, engine…
2016 Atlantic Crossing
2016 Cap Horn from East to West
2017 Patagonian Canals
About the Boat
Boat model: Frans Maas 41’6”
Designer: Frans Maas/Van de Stadt
Year launched: 1962
Length overall (ft): 41.6
Displacement (kgs): 13000
Upwind sail area: 95m²
Downwind sail area: 175m²