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Maine native becomes first American woman to finish Global Solo Challenge


By Laura Haefeli

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    BOSTON (WBZ) — Cole Brauer is breaking barriers by completing the Global Solo Challenge – one of the most extreme sporting events on earth.

“I am the first American woman to race solo around the world. I think that’s the first time I’ve said it out loud,” said the Boothbay, Maine, native.

When Brauer spoke with WBZ-TV in February, she was in the middle of the ocean – 800 miles of the coast of Uruguay.

“If someone needed to come out and get me, it could take upwards of a week,” said Brauer.

Racing around the world on a 40-foot boat, Brauer faced high seas, unpredictable weather and scary moments. She bruised her ribs and later experienced severe dehydration, but she fought on – sailing through the Australian sea on the edge of the Antarctic, past New Zealand, and eventually back to Spain. She sailed 30,000 miles and spent four months alone.

“I found different ways to reduce anxiety. Wearing headphones to reduce sound. Playing piano music at night if it was super windy,” Brauer said.

Despite the ups and downs, she finished.

“My parents were crying. It was just a shock as if you were in solitary confinement and you come out and you can see the light again,” said Brauer.

After four months, she reached dry land and her dream of becoming the first woman to race around the world – a title she’ll keep forever.

“Women should be allowed to go after our dreams, but also, take your dream and take it one step further. Keep trying to move forward. The world will be your oyster, just keep trying. I would just say it was completely life-changing.”

What’s next for Cole? She is planning another race that will likely be longer, but that’s a few years away. For now, she’s celebrating this amazing victory for her team and anyone who loves sailing.

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