Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro race: Corentin Douguet sails for Imagine

For the second year in a row, Esprit Large's navigator, Corentin Douguet, has chosen to wear Imagine's colors for the Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro race, the 50th edition of which took place from May 27 to June 30, 2019. The boats will be visible in Nantes from May 27, and after a trip down the Loire to Saint-Nazaire, the start will be given on June 2 there. This race is reputed to be the most difficult of the solo races, without assistance, and is played on time.

Published on 21.05.2019


Corentin Douguet's commitment to Imagine was inspired by little Heloise, niece of his former teammate and training partner Christian Ponthieu, who is followed at the Imagine Institute.

"I discovered the Imagine Institute with Christian Ponthieu, my co-skipper on several Figaro races, notably the Transat AG2R last year. His niece Heloise suffers from a rare genetic disease and is followed by the Institute. When her parents asked me if we could promote the Institute on the boat, I obviously accepted.  

Corentin Douguet , Skipper

The Imagine Institute is the leading European research and care center for genetic diseases. This unique place brings together doctors and researchers around young patients to understand diseases and invent treatments that will allow them to be cured tomorrow.

We can only be touched by such a cause. And since we have the freedom to associate the Imagine Institute with our project, this is our way of helping them to advance their research.  

Corentin Douguet , Skipper

Navigation and search: many common points

Corention Douguet has been involved with Imagine for several years and has already visited the Institute in the heart of Paris twice. These meetings were an opportunity to discover the many parallels that can exist between the two worlds.

When we are racing, our problems are quite similar to those of the Institute's researchers. They are moving towards the unknown, and must constantly question and adapt themselves. You have to be as humble in research as you are in the sea. You also have to know how to take risks, by making strategic, technical and technological choices while adapting to a constantly changing environment. And finally, you must share your ideas and discoveries to help everyone progress and become even better.  

Corentin Douguet , Skipper

This year again, the navigator will try to carry Imagine's colors as high as possible to help raise awareness of genetic diseases and provoke a wave of support as large as possible so that research can succeed and those who need it can be treated.

Corentin Douguet Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro
Corentin Douguet et Imagine sur la Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro © Alexis Courcoux

By wearing the Imagine logo on the boat's sail, I hope to raise public awareness of genetic diseases. These rare diseases are often unknown, even though in France alone, they affect 3 million people. There is still a lot to discover in order to understand them.  

Corentin Douguet , Skipper

See you there!

Through this 50th edition of the Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro race, Corentin Douguet reaffirms his commitment to the Imagine Institute. He is inviting everyone to join him in Nantes on the Quai de la Fosse from May 27 to share his passion for the sea and raise awareness of the Imagine Institute until the start on June 2 under the Saint-Nazaire bridge, after a 3.5-hour parade on the Loire.

The christening will take place in the race village in Nantes at 3pm on June 2nd, in the presence of the Mayor of Nantes, Johanna Rolland. Everyone is invited to attend the event.

Corentin Douguet finished 8th in the Solitaire URGO le Figaro in 2018 and has twice finished third in 2007 and 2010.

Follow Corentin Douguet during his race!

On the project website, you will find videos of the race, pictures and details of the Atlantic crossing! And on social networks, check out the Esprit Large Facebook page and the Imagine Institute's Instagram account.