Antoine Cousot, Open University graduate

OU graduate Antoine Cousot is circumnavigating the globe single-handedly to support future students

Antoine Cousot, Open University student, with 1960s sailing equipment
Antoine Cousot studied at sea and is racing to raise money for fellow students

“Education changed my life,” says lifelong sailing enthusiast, Antoine Cousot. Having left school at 17 to travel the world, he chose The Open University over an offer from Harvard, as distance learning was the only way he could study while at sea. 

Studying Earth Sciences with The Open University enhanced Antoine’s skills and knowledge as a skipper. Now he wants to use what he has learned to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe, to raise funds for more students to share the opportunities that he had.

Antoine says, “The OU has changed my openness to the world we’re living in. They came to me with the right tools at the right time, helping me pursue my dreams. Now, I want to share my experience with others - learning is intimately part of our life.”

To mark 50 years since the first solo voyage around the world without using modern technology, and 50 years of education open to all, through The Open University, Antoine is using only 1960s technology in the Golden Globe Race. In addition to raising funds for students, Antoine will spend his eight months at sea gathering data for OU students and academics to use – exploring everything from water pollution to changes in the climate.  

To support Antoine’s mission, visit and follow his progress at