Mini-transat race boats In 2001 Gale Browning, a local sailor from Annapolis, became the only American to enter the grueling Mini-Transat race. The Mini-Transat is a single handed race from La Rochelle, France to Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, a distance of more than 4,250 miles in a 21 foot sailboat!

The EYC Foundation chose to sponsor Gale in her effort to become the first American woman to compete in a solo trans-Atlantic race because she is a role model for the children of our area who might dream of sailing to far away places and competing with the best sailors in the world. She also proves that a child can grow up to be or do anything they set their heart and mind to achieve. Below is who Gale Browning is and some information on her achievement.

Gale has been working on boats professionally for over 20 years. She started out as a deckhand in Hawaii and moved up to Charter Captain in the Caribbean and Delivery Skipper on the East Coast of the United States, the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands. She holds a 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard License and has operated power boats and sail boats up to 77 feet carrying up to 300 passengers. For the past 10 years, Gale has been working as a marine surveyor in Annapolis, Maryland, surveying sail and power boats from 20 to 65 feet.

Gale has raced on J-22s, J-24s, Prindle 16s, 37' Express, 42' Beneteau and various other boats round the buoys and overnight races. Gale sailed her schooner in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race for five consecutive years and placed first in Class every year. In 1998, Gale placed First in Fleet, Second Over the Line (elapsed time to finish ahead of 105-foot schooner America), First in Class, Line Honors in Class, and Best Corrected Time (for race history) with a crew of three other women.

The 2001 Mini-Transat Race started September 22, 2001, at La Rochelle, France. The distance for Leg One, from La Rochelle to Lanzarote, Canary Islands, to approximately 1,500 nautical miles, and took the fleet across the stormy Bay of Biscay, around the Iberian peninsula, and south to the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa.

Leg Two, from Lanzarote to Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, began on October 11, 2001, and covered approximately 2,750 nautical miles. For the first time in the event's history, this leg crossed the Equator, and required the competitors to meet the challenges of sailing through the Doldrums, where periods of flat calm often are interspersed with violent squalls.

For more information go to Gale Browning Ocean Racing or Adam Seamans Ocean Racing: Mini Transat (links open in new windows).