Having sailed 100,000 miles, António Fontes notched up significant ocean miles before joining the Volvo Ocean Race in 2017-18.
He started sailing at the age of 8 and turned pro in 2005. António Fontes was crowned Portuguese Match Racing Champion in 2007 and 2008 then turned his hand to solo sailing in the Class Mini. He finished 3rd in the Trofeu MAP in 2014 and 13th in the Mini Transat 2015 (4,000 miles). In 2017-18 he sailed aboard Scallywag in the Volvo Ocean Race. Based in Cascais, Portugal, António is the Boat Captain for the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team. His wife Mariana is also part of the crew sailing onboard Racing For The Planet.
Date of birth
26 June 1983
Portuguese, English, Spanish, French and Italian.
Sailing career highlights
3rd Match racing European Championship (2010)
World Match Racing Tour (2008\2009)
Mini Transat (2015)
Extreme Sailing Series (2016) in Sail Portugal Team
Volvo Ocean Race 2017/18 - Sailor in Scallywag team
What was your first sailing memory?
When I was three years old, sailing a dinghy with my family and the boat flipped and I got stuck under the boat!
Who inspires you?
When I first started to sail, it was my grandfather that taught me a lot. Nowadays, it's mostly my opponent that inspires me - to do better.
What is your favourite quote?
“You have to believe.” Sometimes, even in small things, if we don't believe that we will be capable of doing it, we end up not doing it. This applies to winning as well. If you don't believe that you have what it takes to win, you probably won't win.
What was your childhood sailing dream?
To participate in the Mini Transat and become a professional sailor.
What items do you always take with you when you go sailing?
A small statue of the Virgin Mary. It was given to me by my mother and it has helped to keep me safe since I started sailing offshore, because when I am offshore, I can't go to church and this helps me with keeping and practicing my faith.
What is your favourite food?
'Bacalhau à Brás' - a typical Portuguese dish with cod fish, potatoes and eggs.
What hobbies do you have when not sailing?
Play with my kids, Moth sailing, cycling and wine making.
Give us an example of a sustainable attitude to life - what do you do for a better world?
I can’t even remember the last time I used a plastic water bottle. I always carry my metal water bottle with me.
What advice would you give to young sailors to protect the planet?
Go to the sea and enjoy it, but don't destroy it.
Next race: The Ocean Race Europe
The Ocean Race Europe will be the first real competition after Covid-19 for a lot of people. It will be great to be back racing and spread our message - Stop Climate Change.