He is a business executive who is chasing his dream, after 20 years in the motor industry he move to Les Sables d'Olonne to further his IMOCA project as he transitioned to full time sailor. He has taken all the logical steps on the classical pathway through Class40 on the key Transatlantic races always supported by Groupe Setin. Now he is ready for the big one. Meet Manu Cousin
Date of birth 10th July 1967
Place of birth Rouen
Residence Les Sables d’Olonne
Studies and career outside of sailing Technical diploma in industrial robotics maintenance. 10 years as head of maintenance for a company supplying car parts 20 years in sales for Toyota
Your first sailing trip: where, when and under what circumstances? On an Optimist in the bay off Saint-Brieuc at the age of five. My uncle was a sailing instructor in Saint-Briac and over the month I learnt how to sail with my cousins.
How and why did you want to take up ocean racing? When I went to Race Villages with my parents. At the Route du Rhum for example.
When and why did this become your main ambition in life? In 2010 when I raced across the Atlantic for the first time and then in 2014 when I acquired a Class 40. I really understood that it was what I wanted to do and I did what was required to enable my passion to become my career.
Which result or experience are you proudest of? My first Transat Jacques Vabre on a class 40 in 2015. I was seventh out of around twenty boats taking part.
Q & A session
What is your strongest quality? Perseverance and optimism, determination…
Your main weakness? I am very sensitive
If you were an animal, what would you be? An albatross, a symbol of freedom… they feel better at sea than on dry land
If you were a plant? A palm tree
If you were a film? The Dead Poets Society
Or a piece of music? Eye of the Tiger
A colour? Blue
What would make you happiest? What I am currently going through. I am savouring every minute.
Who is your hero? My father
Your favourite aphorism? You need to live your dreams and not dream your life away
If you were not an ocean racer, what would you be? A sportsman in any case
Vendée Globe 2020
Your ambitions in the 2020 Vendée Globe:
Weaknesses (what would prevent you from reaching your goal apart from damage): My goal is to complete the race, so apart from suffering damage, only a major health problem could stop me from achieving my goal.
Your lethal weapon: Reliability
What would make this Vendée Globe a success for you? Finishing in a position that matches the potential of the boat
What would you like to share? I want to share and convey the values supported by my partners, new emotions, various moments during the race.
In three words, what does the Vendée Globe mean to you: A legendary race
Three pictures you remember of the Vendée Globe: Ellen MacArthur 2nd in the 2000-2001 Vendée Globe after her duel with Michel Desjoyeaux; Yann Elies’s accident in the 2008 VG; Loïck Peyron’s videos in the 89-90 Vendée Globe on Lada Poch, which are incredible to watch
Which skipper most inspires you? Ellen MacArthur for what she did and her determination
What are you certain of taking with you around the world? Chocolate
Environmental/scientific measures for this round the world race: Favouring clean energy to charge up the batteries on the boat: a wind turbine, 2 hydrogenerators. UNESCO Ambassador for the IMOCA class.