Probably executing the most Made for Instagram around the world passage ever, Long Island native Cole Brauer is lighting it up in the Global Solo Challenge. If you have not seen Cole’s excellent Instagram posts, I encourage you to follow her right now. By the time you read this, she will be about a month out from the finish line in Spain, completing her lap around the world and likely finishing second.
I first heard of Cole Brauer as a backup candidate for the State Street Sailing campaign for the double-handed offshore discipline for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, which of course never happened. Then as publisher of WindCheck, I saw Cole pop up as an On Watch sailor. Then we covered her triumphant Bermuda 1-2 campaign and re-published her excellent Global Solo Challenge blog post, “Too Small for the Southern Ocean.” Yeah, yeah, lots of sailors are featured on our pages, and we wish them well or Bon Courage if they are an offshore sailor, usually being covered by Coop.
Well, this person/campaign are far beyond the typical acknowledgment. Cole and Team have been bringing fun, knowledge, emotion, nature, and of course offshore sailboat racing of the most extreme kind, to thousands of people who don’t know a jib tack from a Chinese gybe. I know; I have read the comments. I have watched the “likes” and I have watched the followers. Cole’s attributes, which yes, include “engaging,” “great smile,” “great cadence” and “great communicator,” not to mention her ability, experience and sheer determination to sail a 40-foot race boat around the world by herself, are rewarding not just her team but the sport of sailing itself. Because let’s be honest. Most programs focus very heavily on their performance first, their sponsor fulfillment second (usually done not that well) and engaging a larger audience beyond their immediate fans a distant third. This is at least the intake on the East Coast of the United States. It is certainly different in England and France, New Zealand and Australia. But for us, Cole and her team have been a mighty breath of fresh air.
So if you don’t know how to use Instagram, ask a kid. If you are on it, do yourself a favor and follow colebraueroceanracing. Settle into a comfy couch, start at post #200 or so and that should bring you to the beginning of the race…maybe a touch before if you like prep. Then you will literally be taken along through self-administered IVs for dehydration, squalls, doldrums, the Southern Ocean, three capes and hopefully you will be in time to follow along daily up the Atlantic to the finish.
Bon Courage, Cole! Here is to seeing more folks interested in being on the water thanks to you!
Benjamin V. Cesare