Manuel Cousin (Groupe SÉTIN) finished 23-rd in the Vendée Globe ……

“You have to live your dreams not dream your life away”, that 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.

53-year-old Cousin reached the pinnacle of this new life today when he completed the 24,365 nautical miles of the Vendée Globe, crossing the finish line at Les Sables d’Olonne at 07:35:40 yesterday, occupying the 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 twenty years, Manuel Cousin, a keen sailor since he was young, decided to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional sailor at a late age. Since the start of the race, his 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. He set off on 8th November at a fairly fast pace, as if he was about to sail across the Atlantic, but with the aim of sharing his experience with the public. The Doldrums were not kind to him, but 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 kept pushing hard during the first few weeks but was forced to slow down when faced with a series of problems. In early January, his autopilot failed, causing the boat to broach and leading to a lot of damage, in particular to his mainsail. He spent 48 hours carrying out repairs day and night. 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.”

KEY POINTS
Equator (outward)
23rd on 23/11/2020 at 18:04hrs UTC, after 15d 4hrs 44mins, 5d 4hrs 45mins after the leader (HUGO BOSS)
Cape of Good Hope
20th on 7/12/2020 at 18:12hrs UTC, after 29d 4hrs 37mins, 6d 19hrs 1min after the leader (APIVIA)
Cape Leeuwin
21st on 23/12/2021 at 19:35hrs UTC, after 45d 6hrs 15mins, 10d 8hrs 10mins after the leader (APIVIA)
Cape Horn
22nd on 14/01/2021 at 23:38hrs UTC, after 67 days 10hrs 18mins, 12d 9hrs 55mins after the leader (Maître CoQ IV)
Equator (return)
21st on 1/2/2021 at 13:57hrs UTC, after 85d 37mins, 15d 18hrs 45mins after the leader (Bureau Vallée 2)

His boat
Designer: Farr Yacht Design
Yard: Southern Ocean Marine, New Zealand
Launched: February 2007

1. Alexia Barrier – [ TSE – 4MYPLANET ] —> 1423.84 nm to the finish
2. Ari Huusela – [ STARK ] —> 2143.26 nm to the finish