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29-year-old becomes first US woman to race around the world solo

Cole Brauer was also the youngest person and the only female to compete in the Global Solo Challenge, which she wrapped Thursday morning.
Sailor Cole Brauer is pictured.
Posted at 4:09 PM, Mar 07, 2024

Cole Brauer has completed her four-month, solo sailing journey around the world.

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. And during Women's History Month, that goal was realized.

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.

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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.

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

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