Born in Munich to a German father and a French mother, Isabelle JOSCHKE grew up between Geneva and the Paris region. Nothing about her suggested that she might one day become a sailor, and yet… The initial trigger was her family holidays in the Austrian lakes, where she discovered sailing aboard an Optimist. She was only five years old, but this experience had already given her a zest for the open ocean.
Fifteen years later, her passion for sailing definitively took hold during a training session at the Glénans sailing school. Whilst studying literature at the Sorbonne, Isabelle embarked on a yacht being delivered to Brazil. It proved to be a revelation: she would make the sea her profession. Having just graduated with a Masters in the Classics, she took two diplomas; one to become a sports instructor and the other a skipper.
At the start of her career, her voyages led her to the West Indies, to the United States and to Mediterranean waters. Passing through Lorient, she crossed paths with the Mini sailors and fell in love with the discipline. That’s all it took for Isabelle, then aged twenty-seven, to set sail on the crazy Mini Transat adventure and buy her first boat. In 2007, she participated in the event a second time and won the first leg of the transatlantic race. Her victory revealed the offshore racing world to her, which she will never leave.
At 40 years of age, Isabelle has a solid background in the domain of offshore racing, no matter what craft (Mini 6.50, Figaro, Class 40, IMOCA). Committed to gender equality, she has every intention of being a part of the very tight inner circle of women signed up to the start of a Vendée Globe and is seeking to participate in the 2020 edition.
MACSF (main sponsor) and MONIN (secondary sponsor) have signed up alongside Isabelle JOSCHKE and LANIC SPORT TEAM (Alain GAUTIER’s offshore racing stable) for the next three years. Several major IMOCA races await the sailor and her partners, including the Transat Jacques Vabre (double-handed race, starts on 27 October 2019) and the Vendée Globe (singlehanded race, starts on 8 November 2020). And it’s aboard the completely transformed IMOCA that Isabelle will take the start of her two races. Indeed, her sixty-footer went into refit in late December 2018 so as to benefit from several major revamps, including the addition of foils and the installation of a new wing mast. The objective: increased power and speed to compete with the foilers!