Isabelle Autissier

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Isabelle Autissier
Isabelle Autissier par Claude Truong-Ngoc octobre 2015.jpg
Isabelle Autissier in 2015.
Born(1956-10-18)October 18, 1956

Isabelle Autissier (born 18 October 1956) is a French sailor, navigator, writer, and broadcaster. She is celebrated for being the first woman to have completed a solo world navigation in competition (BOC Challenge 1990–91).

Isabelle Autissier was born in the suburbs of Paris. Her father, architect Jean Autissier, taught her and her sisters how to sail. She later graduated from L'ecole Argonomique School in Rennes with a degree in marine engineering.[1]

While competing in the 1994–95 BOC Challenge, Autissier's boat Ecureuil Poitou Charentes II was dismasted and severely damaged approximately 900 nautical miles (1,700 km) south of Adelaide, Australia. Autissier was rescued on 1 January 1995 by a Seahawk helicopter launched from the Royal Australian Navy frigate, HMAS Darwin.[2][3][4]

She competed in the 1997–98 Whitbread Round the World Race on board EF Education.

In the 1998–99 Around Alone race Autissier was rescued by fellow competitor Giovanni Soldini [it; fr] when her boat PRB capsized approximately 1,900 nautical miles (3,500 km) west of Cape Horn.[5]


  • Rendez-vous avec la mer (Rendez-vous with the sea), with Antoine Le Séguillon [fr] (Solar, 1996)
  • Une solitaire autour du monde (Alone around the World), with Éric Cocquerel (Arthaud, 1997)
  • Kerguelen, le voyageur au pays de l'ombre (Kerguelen, the Traveller in the Land of Shadow), (Grasset, 2006)
  • Salut au Grand Sud (Goodbye to the Great South), with Érik Orsenna, (Stock, 2006)
  • Versant océan : l'île du bout du monde (Sloping Ocean: the Island at the end of the World) with Lionel Daudet [fr], (Grasset, 2008)
  • Passer par le Nord. La nouvelle route maritime (Going through the North. The new sea route), with Érik Orsenna (Paulsen, 2014)
  • Soudain, seuls (Stock, 2015)


  1. ^ 1946-, Duncan, Joyce (2002). Ahead of their time : a biographical dictionary of risk-taking women. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 33. ISBN 0313016860. OCLC 179155923.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "RAN Activities in the Southern Ocean". Semaphore. Royal Australian Navy (18). October 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  3. ^ Hancock, Brian (6 January 2003). "Around Alone fleet north east from Tasmania to the top of NZ", Sail World. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  4. ^ Pendlebury, Jarrod "Backbone of the Air Force: Hercules proves a sure thing for No.36 Squadron", Air Force. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  5. ^ Howe, Robert F. (1 March 1999) "The Deep End of the Sea", Time. Retrieved 19 June 2010.

Further reading[edit]

  • Duncan, Joyce. Ahead of Their Time: a Biographical Dictionary of Risk-Taking Women. Portsmouth : Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated La Vergne : MyiLibrary [distributor] May 2010. pp. 32–35. OCLC 1065101531.