52 years old

Les Sables d'Olonne

Smiley and friendly, Manu Cousin could almost be viewed as the opposite of what he really is : a determined competitor, an audacious man. Over 50 years of age, the man knows what he dreams of, what he wants, and he has well thought through this voyage before setting for the unknown.


Originating from Rouen, he combined his professional activity as sales manager and his fondness for regattas - which transformed into a communicative passion for the oceans -  during a long time. Based in Seine-Maritime, the Sétin group has followed Manuel Cousin’s race stories and boats for twenty years. From 2014 to 2017, the group supported him on Class40 before Manu Cousin invited Eric Sétin to the start of the last Vendée Globe. The group’s boss was hooked on and decided to get involved with his favorite racer in a round-the-world. Since then, the sailor has quit his job, becoming a full-time professional skipper, and has settled definitively in Les Sables d’Olonne, city that he has always cherished since he was twelve.


Aboard his Farr designed boat, launched in 2007, Manuel Cousin “is daydreaming, but you must make your dreams possible,” he likes to say. His objective on the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe (14th) was above all to finish for his qualification and collect miles for the next Vendée Globe. He is now reassured and continues his apprenticeship in order to take the start of the round-the-world race in 2020.



IMOCA monohull

  • Sail number : FRA 71
  • The boat’s previous names: Paprec-Virbac2, Estrella Damm, We are Water, La Mie Câline
  • Designer: Bruce Farr Yatch Design
  • Chantier : Southern Ocean Marine (Nouvelle-Zélande)
  • Launch Date: 02 February 2007
  • Length: 18,28 m
  • Beam: 5,80 m
  • Draught: 4,50 m
  • Displacement (weight): 9 t
  • Number of drifts: 2 asymétriques
  • Mast height: 28,50
  • Keel blade: basculante sur vérin hydraulique
  • Upwind sail area: 270 m2
  • Downwind sail area: 560 m2

Manuel Cousin’s boat is the former Paprec-Virbac2 that Jean-Pierre Dick had built to enter the Vendée Globe 2008-2009. This IMOCA started its career by a victory in a double-handed round-the-world race, the Barcelona World Race 2007-2008. In the Vendée Globe 2007-2008, it was leading the race when Jean-Pierre Dick had to retire off the coast of New-Zealand after the loss of his rudders. After being purchased by a Spanish team, it took 4th place in the Barcelona 2010-2011 in the hands of Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes, then 5th place in the following edition of the same race. With Arnaud Boissières - that Manuel Cousin has trained with for some time - , it finished in 10th position in the Vendée Globe 2016-2017. This old generation boat, but very versatile, will be taking its sixth start in a round-the-world race in 2020.

Contact Press

Soazig Guého (presse) : 06 62 08 75 44


Sandrine Rauck (communication) : 07 81 51 51 81


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