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First American Woman Sails Solo Around the World Non-Stop

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Quick Smiles:

  • Cole Brauer, a 29-year-old woman, becomes the first American woman to race non-stop around the world solo in a sailboat.
  • Brauer navigated her 40-foot vessel, First Light, across three oceans and 30,000 miles, setting a world record for the fastest, solo, female, non-stop circumnavigation at 130 days.
  • Despite facing challenges, including equipment failure and harsh weather conditions, Brauer completed the Global Solo Challenge, inspiring many with her determination and resilience.

In a remarkable feat of endurance and determination, 29-year-old Cole Brauer has made history by becoming the first American woman to race non-stop around the world solo in a sailboat. She arrived in A Coruna, Spain, after months of navigating her 40-foot vessel, First Light, across three oceans and 30,000 miles.

While she is not the first woman to sail around the world or to do so non-stop, she is the first to accomplish this as part of a competition. In doing so, she has also set the world record for the fastest, solo, female, non-stop circumnavigation at 130 days.

During her journey, Brauer was able to stay connected with a logistics team and a massive following of over 400,000 people on social media, thanks to satellite communications.

“Solo sailors, you have to be able to do everything,” Brauer said. “You need to be able to take care of yourself. You need to be able to get up, even when you’re so exhausted. And you have to be able to fix everything on the boat.”

Her route took her from Spain down the west coast of Africa, then across the Southern Ocean from the Cape of Good Hope, to Australia, to Cape Horn, and back up to Spain across the Atlantic.

To achieve a speedy finish, Brauer had to sail closer to Antarctica, where the globe’s circumference is narrower. This meant braving frigid air temperatures and rough seas, including thirty-foot waves that tossed her around her cabin.

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There was only one instance when Brauer considered abandoning the mission, when some critical equipment failed, and she doubted her ability to make the necessary repairs. However, it was her mother who encouraged her not to give up.

Upon her triumphant return, she celebrated with a champagne shower, a cappuccino, and a croissant; all well deserved undoubtedly.

“I push so much harder when someone’s like, ‘no, you can’t do that,’ or ‘you’re too small,’” Brauer, standing 5-foot-1 and weighing 100 pounds, said. “It would be amazing if there was just one other girl that saw me and said ‘Oh, I can do that, too.’”

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