Growing up by the sea in Landerneau, Finistère, Marie Riou was sailing before she was walking, pushed by her two older brothers. A dinghy sailing specialist, she went on to become European Champion in the 420 youth class and has competed at two Olympic Games in two different sailing classes.
One of those was with fellow teammate Billy Besson, who she won four world titles with, in the Nacra 17 class. After Besson suffered a back injury during the Rio Olympics, the established pair have a score to settle, and have set their sights on a medal at Tokyo 2020.
Riou recently made sporting history. Alongside teammate Carolijn Brouwer, she became the first woman to win the Volvo Ocean Race and subsequently was voted Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2018. A feat that she plans to repeat as the only female athlete in SailGP.
Away from sailing, Riou enjoys surfing, windsurfing and skiing.
“My aims for the coming years are twofold: to win an Olympic medal in Tokyo in 2020 and be among the top-ranking crews in SailGP. In four years, Billy and I have found our own way of working together and our own dialogue, and we’ll be using that to great effect onboard the F50.”