Manuel Cousin home 23rd in Vendée Globe

A satisfied Manuel Cousin reaches Les Sables d'Olonne - Manuel Cousin pic
A satisfied Manuel Cousin reaches Les Sables d'Olonne - Manuel Cousin pic

'You have to live your dreams, not dream your life away' – was the maxim that drove Manuel Cousin to leave his life as an executive selling forklift trucks to major accounts with Toyota, to move from his native Normandy to Les Sables d'Olonne and pursue new goals ocean racing.

Cousin, 53, reached the pinnacle of that new life today when he completed the 24,365 nautical mile Vendée Globe, crossing the finish line off Les Sables d'Olonne at 07:35:40 hrs UTC this morning in 23rd position.

After struggling at times with a cracked rudder and more recently keel ram damage, Cousin's elapsed time on Groupe Setin is 103d 18hrs 15m. He sailed an actual course of 29,116 nautical miles at an average of 11.69kts.

Having acquired a lot of technical knowledge after working in the automobile sector for 20 years, Cousin, a keen sailor since he was young, decided to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional sailor at a late age.

Since the start of the race, the Frenchman’s aim has been to complete the round the world voyage. And throughout the adventure, the skipper of Groupe Sétin has shown determination, dealing with each difficulty he encountered.

Cousin set off on 8 November at a fairly fast pace, but the Doldrums were not kind to him. Despite this, Manu always had a smile on his face.

“Before the start, I was worried about time dragging, but in fact, everything happens quickly,” he declared on his way down the Atlantic. He looked forward to dealing with the low-pressure systems in the South Atlantic and showed almost child-like amazement when he saw his first albatross.

Couisn kept pushing hard during the first few weeks, but was forced to slow down when faced with a series of problems.

“We quickly go from a feeling of total satisfaction to the impression that the world is about to fall in.”

Incidents would in fact mar his performance in the race. On 11 December after passing the Cape of Good Hope, Cousin noticed a huge crack on the top of his port rudder, which forced him to carry out repairs during the night. He would not give up and attempted to set off again as quickly as possible, although at reduced speed.

In early January, his autopilot failed, causing the boat to broach and leading to a lot of damage, in particular to his mainsail.

On 8 February, his keel ram rod gave up the ghost. He spent 48 hours carrying out repairs day and night, always with the lure of the harbour in Les Sables to motivate him. His race has been characterised by his tenacity in the face of such adversity. His goal has been to complete the voyage, and he has regularly expressed his satisfaction at what he has achieved.

The Vendée Globe may not have been everything he imagined or dreamt of, but the memories of an extraordinary adventure will surely remain with him.

“When times get tough, you wonder what you are doing here, but once you get back, you want to do it all over again. I have enjoyed myself so much. I never thought about giving up and always tried to find solutions to ensure I could sail all the way.”

Two competitors remain at sea – Alexia Barrier and Ari Huusela, while eight entries have retired.

Full information at: www.vendeeglobe.org

Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Stronger breeze blows results wide open at Sail Port Stephens

“Sunny with winds 15 to 25 km/h becoming light in the late afternoon” was how the official forecasters optimistically described today’s weather for Sail Port Stephens. At least they were right about the sunshine … The breeze built to a...

Don't pee over the railing! Image courtesy of Pantaenius Insurance.

The deadly hazard of urination – don't pee off the rail

Have you ever heard of “Micturition syncope”? This is a fainting spell that can occur during or, more commonly, immediately after urination due to a severe drop in blood pressure. On board, such a collapse is not only particularly dangerous,...

Jake Lilley selected to second Olympic team

Queenslander Jake Lilley has been announced as Australia’s representative in the Finn class for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, rounding out the sailing selection for the Games. Lilley completes a team blessed with a mix of youth, experience, and a history...

Japan SailGP Team announces new signings for Season 2

The Japan SailGP Team has supercharged its team for SailGP Season 2, announcing the headline signings of Italian sailor and eight-time world champion Francesco Bruni and Great Britain’s Chris Draper, who take on the roles of flight controller and wing...

Tom Slingsby's Australian team powers past GBR on Day One of SailGP on Sydney Harbour. Photo Photo: Chris Cameron for SailGP.

Fox Sports and Kayo app in Australia to broadcast SailGP season 2

With the SailGP Season opener less than a week away, the global championship has announced comprehensive broadcast coverage, with viewers in 175 territories globally able to watch the events, which promise high-speeds, high-tech and high-drama in the second season. Broadcasting...

Sinking yacht threatened Cook Strait power cables

New Zealand website stuff.co.nz reports that “a shipwreck drifting at the edge of the Marlborough Sounds has damaged a fishing boat and threatened cables vital to New Zealand’s electricity.” Emergency services responded to a mayday call from an 11-metre yacht...

Great Britain SailGP Team confirms Season 2 squad

With less than one week to go until the start of SailGP Season 2, which commences with the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess April 24-25, the Great Britain SailGP Team has unveiled its squad that will race...

Rolex Fastnet Race – more than an ocean race

While this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race will be highly competitive at the front of the fleet, for many among the record-sized entry of 453 yachts (at present), the objective of tackling the 695 mile course from Cowes to Cherbourg via...

2023 Ocean Globe Race set to be the World’s biggest ever

In 1981, 29 entrants set out on the third edition of the Whitbread Around the World Race, creating the current record as the biggest ever, fully crewed challenge. As the race evolved every four years, it became ever more professional...

Solo sailor rescued in “perfect” conditions

The calm, windless sea was ideal for towing, but no good for sailing, so a solo sailor off Holyhead in the UK did the right thing and called the RNLI when his motor broke down. Pagers sounded just before 5pm...

Latest Posts

Latest

Read all of the latest Sailing News

Racing Posts

Racing

Dinghy and Yacht Racing News

Offshore Posts

Offshore

News from the Offshore World

Cruising & Destinations Posts

Cruising & Destinations

Cruising Stories from around the World

Boat & Gear Posts

Boats & Gear

The Latest Boats and Yachting Gear

Video Posts

Video

Watch everything Sailing and Boating

Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Join Our Newsletter
Latest Sailing News, Racing, Cruising, Boats, Gear and more
ErrorHere