Maine Woman Set to Make History as First American Woman to Sail Around the World Solo

Brauer is the only woman among 15 solo racers in the Global Solo Challenge. Among the racers, 9 have dropped out.

A woman from Maine is sailing into the record books as the first American woman to sail around the world nonstop in the Global Solo Challenge race. She spoke with Inside Edition.

Last year, Cole Brauer says she was told by another organization that she was too short to be a competitive sailor at 5 feet 1 inch tall.

“I think a lot of people might have gone and cried, I did cry, but they probably would have stopped and not kept going,” the 29-year-old says.

According to Global Solo Challenge, Braur is expected to complete her race on March 7.

Around 400,000 fans are following Brauer’s progress aboard her yacht, First Light, on social media.

She documented the highs and lows of her travel experience.

In one incident, a rough wave threw her across the vessel, leaving her with bruised ribs. 

“It was incredibly painful but I think I learned a lot and it ended up working out,” Brauer says.

An auto-pilot malfunction threatened to capsize her. She also has had to give herself an I.V., when she became dangerously dehydrated.

“And I’m terrified of needles,” Brauer says.

Brauer set off from Spain in late October and sailed south around Africa, to Australia, around South America’s Cape Horn, and back north, expecting to end up where her journey began in Spain.

Brauer is the only woman among 15 solo racers. Nine of the other men dropped out along the way.

“It shows just how male-dominated this sport is and how much further we can go and should go to make this more inclusive,” she says.

As the first American woman ever to complete the journey, Brauer says she hopes to inspire other young women even in the face of challenges.

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