Solo racer rescued from the Southern Ocean has launched this 20m cruising beauty

Last month I wrote about Isabelle Autissier’s recent expedition to Antarctica in her cruising boat (here). I remarked that, in France at least, solo sailors never really retire, they just do it more slowly with friends.

Another French ex-solo racing sailor who is primed to go cruising in high latitudes is Thierry Dubois. This is his new yacht, captured just before her launch by photographer Thierry Martinez. See his site (here) for more photos of the new boat.

The 20m schooner, named La Louise, has been a hands-on project for Dubois, finally reaching fruition this weekend after a five-year build in an oyster shed in Brittany.

Dubois hit the news in 1996 when his Open 60 Amnesty International capsized during the Vendée Globe race and failed to right, despite her keel being intact.

The disaster happened in the Southern Ocean south-west of Australia and Briton Tony Bullimore’s boat lost her keel in the same storm, sparking a courageous rescue mission by the Royal Australian Navy to save both skippers.

Dubois will head north this summer to Greenland and Nova Scotia and the boat will be available for charter. You can see more images of the build of his more sedate, traditional and comfortable yacht on the boat’s website.