This 29-year-old sailor just became the first U.S. woman to race around the world solo

Simplemost | Global Solo Challenge

This morning, Cole Brauer completed her four-month sailing journey around the world — solo. When she and her sailboat, First Light, arrived at the Global Solo Challenge endpoint of Coruna, Spain, in the early morning hours of March 7, Brauer wasn’t just finishing the grueling sailing race, she was making history as the first American woman to race around the world on her own.

“The goal of this was always to be the first American woman to race solo around the world,” Brauer told Boston’s WBZ-TV in an interview last month. Today, that goal was realized. (Fittingly, during Women’s History Month!)

Brauer first took up sailing while attending college in Hawaii. She fell in love with the sport and, upon returning home to Maine, decided to train for the Global Solo Challenge, the four-month solo sailing journey she just completed.

Ten competitors took to the seas for the challenge. Of them, Brauer was the only woman and also the youngest. She and her sailboat covered 27,000 miles over the course of the race, which kicked off Oct. 29.

chart showing global solo challenge competitors
Global Solo Challenge

Brauer experience relatively smooth sailing until about halfway into the race, when a wave crashed on top of her 40-foot-long boat, throwing her into the wall and leaving her with bruised ribs. Fortunately, Brauer had cameras on board that enabled her medical team to monitor her.

When she pulled into port this morning, Brauer was all smiles. Fans who followed along on Brauer’s journey took to social media to congratulate her on her accomplishment:

Congratulations, Cole!

MORE: Watch NCAA star Caitlin Clark break the women’s basketball scoring record

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About the Author
Taylor Kuether
Taylor Kuether is an award-winning journalist with more than 12 years’ experience writing and editing content, designing and implementing digital strategy, leading teams and executing production. She's written for The Washington Post, National Geographic, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times and more.

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