Cole Brauer becomes 1st US woman to sail solo around the world

Sailor Cole Brauer on board her yacht. (Credit: Alvaro Sanchis)

Sailor Cole Brauer has made history. 

On Thursday, the 29-year-old from Long Island, New York marked a big finish, becoming the first U.S. female to race solo around the globe.

"Amazing finish!!!! So stoked! Thank you to everyone that came together and made this process possible," Brauer wrote on Instagram alongside a picture showing her standing on the side of her yacht while waving sparklers in Spain. 

Brauer finished in second place, setting a new around-the-world speed record.


The 29-year-old from Long Island, New York became the first U.S. female to race solo around the world. (Credit: Alvaro Sanchis)

"It hasn’t really hit me yet. Everyone’s so excited, but for me it hasn’t really sunk in that I now hold these records," Brauer said in a statement. "It just feels like I went for a little sail, and now I’m back."

At 29 years old, she is both the youngest skipper and the only female sailor in the fleet of 16 boats.

Brauer left Coruña, Spain in October with six other skippers. She led the group to the equator, but as she turned east and headed for Cape Horn, she began having autopilot issues. One issue led to a broach that tossed her across the boat and injured her ribs. There was concern that she would have to pull into port, but despite the injury, she was able to make the necessary repairs and continue sailing. 


Cole Bauer on her yacht. (Credit: JGT, James Tomlinson)

And after 130 days at sea, she finished her journey.

"It was this amazing experience that I got to have, so I feel like the celebration at the finish is almost for everyone else who was involved with this. I already had the amazing experience, I already had the experience I went out there looking for. So this celebration at the end is for the team and the supporters," she continued. 

Throughout her trip, Brauer documented her experience, amassing 450,000 followers on Instagram in the process.

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"Very few people get this opportunity and fewer still actually succeed when they do. It’s a small club of people who’ve accomplished this," James Tomlinson, one of the team’s photographers, said in a press release. "She might not have won the race, but in our eyes she’s the champion."

This story was reported from Los Angeles.