Manuel Cousin

Naturally affable, at first glance Manuel Cousin has the profile of a passionate sailor. However, there’s much more to this 53-year-old Norman, based in Les Sables d'Olonne, his boat’s home port. For him, there is competition at every level of the ranking.

With a qualitative technical background having spent twenty years in the automotive industry, Manuel Cousin, passionate about sailing since his early childhood, chose to shift gears late in life to realise his dream, that of becoming a professional sailor. Initially competing in Class40, he did very well in his first few years with Groupe SETIN from 2013 to 2017. Participating in flagship races such as the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Québec Saint - Malo, he has steadily been able to develop his game in IMOCA, a class he joined in 2017.

A real fighter, Manuel lined up for all the IMOCA races from 2017 to 2020, securing his ticket for the Vendée Globe 2020 with the primary aim of completing the legendary roun the world. 

He does just that, crossing the line in 23rd place on 20 February 2021 with a broken keel ram… among other woes! Absolutely focused on his goal, throughout the race the skipper of Groupe SÉTIN oozes determination and perseverance in every difficulty he encounters along the way.

This year, his boat from the Vendée Globe has just undergone a major transformation at Mer Agîtée in Port La Forêt. Michel Desjoyeaux and his team, along with Manuel’s posse, have worked hard to improve her and make her more high-performance; the mast, boom, ballast tanks and daggerboards having been completely redesigned.
Today, Manuel and his team are setting a course for the Vendée Globe 2024, including all the upcoming races on the IMOCA schedule. The Défi Azimut is one of these stages and an eagerly awaited meeting every year for Manuel on Groupe SETIN.

Teamed up for the 48H Azimut with Alexia Barrier, a fellow Vendée Globe 2020/2021 finisher, Manuel fully intends to give his all. An experienced and enthusiastic ‘dynamic duo’, Manuel and Alexia will also take the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre 2021 on 7 November 2022! 

Sailing Highlights

2022: Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race - 18th
2021: Transat Jacques Vabre - 18th
Défi Azimut - Lorient Agglomération - Retired
2020-21 : Vendée Globe - 23ème (103j 18h 15min 40s) 
2020 : Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne - 15th
2019 : Transat Jacques Vabre - 22th
Défi Azimut - 18th
Rolex Fastnet Race - 11th
Bermuda 1000 Race - 12th
2018: Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe - 14th
Monaco Globe Series - 6th
Bermuda 1000 Race - 4th
2017: Transat Jacques Vabre - 11th
Rolex Fastnet Race - 14th IMOCA
2016: Quebec Saint-Malo - 14th Class 40
2015: Transat Jacques Vabre - 7th Class 40