Navigator with many exploits and female firsts, solo, oar and sail, mother of 4 and woman committed to the protection of the environment and the oceans.
The Maudfontenoyfondation was founded in 2008 with the goal to make children aware of the consequences of climate change on the oceans .www.maudfontenoyfondation.com
Read the interview in French here
"Sauver l'océan , c'est sauver l'homme"
"Saving the ocean is saving mankind"
Ambassador to the Ministry of National Education and Youth for sea education and sea classes, president of the Maud Fontenoy Foundation, expert in Sustainable Development, speaker and author of committed books and documentaries, knight of the National Order of Merit, knight of the Order of Maritime Merit, mother of 4 children.
Maud Fontenoy fights for the protection of the environment and more specifically of the oceans and the coast.This fight has been going on for more than 20 years: to inform and educate as many people as possible about the protection of the planet.
In 2003, she left for the North Atlantic rowing solo and unassisted. A feminine first that she completed in 4 months.
Two years later, in 2005, she won the same crazy bet in the Pacific between Peru and the Marquesas Islands.
She was then voted Personality of the Year by Time Magazine. Finally, in 2007, Maud set off from Reunion Island for a round-the-world trip against the tide, under sail and without assistance, which ended 150 days later, after 3 capes crossed and a dismasting of which she comes out in extremis.
It is with great pride and joy that I invite you to our group of extraordinary women. Visionary and passionate women, who with their actions have a real positive impact on humanity.
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your story with us.
Lisbeth: I have read that you started your maritime exploits very early? What prompted you to do this?
Maud: To prove that it was also possible for a woman. Most successes are a matter of willpower, not a “big guy” story. I wanted to set an example for women, to give them self-confidence.
Lisbeth: You have performed several “first feminine” exploits. Is it to send a message to women?
Maud: Exactly. I wanted to encourage them to make their dreams come true. Don't let anyone tell you it's impossible! This is what I wanted to convey as a message. You have to hold on to your dreams. Our time on Earth is too short!
Lisbeth: How are you preparing for these challenges?
Maud: It's all in the head. We must prepare for all eventualities, and especially accept that it will not be easy. Besides, it was because it was not for granted that it was exciting!
Lisbeth: What are the difficulties that you encountered during your crossings? What are your best memories?
Maud: We can say that everything was difficult ... but it is certain that every second of happiness (starry sky after the storm, meeting with whales, immense pleasure to be where we dreamed of being ... .) make people forget these difficulties (dismantling, capsizing, injuries, ...)
Lisbeth: Would you be ready to start these adventures again when you are now a mother of 4 children?
Maud: Surely not! I don't want them to experience absence and fear.
Lisbeth: What have you learned about yourself during all these lonely months? Do you have a motto that guides you in life?
Maud: Never give up! This is what I think about every day. I learned that we are capable of making dreams bigger than we are.
Lisbeth: Let's talk about your foundation that you created in 2008. What is its mission?
Maud: Environmental education is my daily commitment. Bring knowledge to encourage action.
Lisbeth: Within this mission, what activities do you offer to educate children?
Maud: We offer free educational programs with the French National Education Ministry and are launching an operation this year to relaunch “sea classes” for children coming from disfavoured neighborhoods
Lisbeth: You have written 22 books including the last “BLEU, Un Océan de solutions” with Yann Arthus-Bertrand. You have co-directed 4 documentaries. You are a speaker and consultant to companies on the theme "A realistic and pragmatic ecology". How do you manage all these activities?
Maud: I'm lucky to do what I love and always see the glass half full, rather than half empty. I try to keep my enthusiasm alive and find positive sides in the difficulties that we all may encounter.
Lisbeth: What is your advice to women who want to pursue their dreams?
Maud: Do not wait until everyone agrees with you and remember that for the second airlock door to open, the first must necessarily be closed. We must get started!
Lisbeth: Maud, you give generously to others. Tell us, please, what can we do for you?
Maud: I would love to have a 5th child. Please send positive waves 😉
We will be sending all the positive vibes we can and hope that this will help you in fulfilling your dream of another child :-) .
I also would like to congratulate you on your new book," La Mer au secures de la Terre", which was launched the 2nd of June.
Once again, thank you so much for your time. You are an exceptional woman and a great inspiration to all the women to whom you have proven that anything is possible!
I invite you all to follow Maud on:
Website: www.maudfontenoyfondation.com ( in French)