Le Pingouin Ocean Racing

Le Pingouin Ocean Racing Yacht to Arrive Charleston Following Victory in the Velux 5 Oceans

Local Sailors Eager for Holiday Weekend After 24 days at Sea

JUNE 30, 2011 - (Charleston, SC) The sleek yellow hull and towering mast of Brad Van Liew's famed ocean racing yacht, Le Pingouin, is expected to arrive home to the port of Charleston tomorrow following eight months of racing around the planet in the Velux 5 Oceans event, and a final transport from the finish line in France back to the Lowcountry. Local residents Jeffrey J. Wargo and Timothy E. Eble, accompanied by Bradford Cavanagh, have been at sea for nearly twenty-four days, bringing the winning race boat across the Atlantic to her home port of Charleston.

"It was rough last night with squall after squall and unexpected weather all around," said Project Manager Jeffrey Wargo of John's Island. "We had 30 knots of wind coming at us from Charleston for four hours, followed by four hours of dead calm."

Wargo is no stranger to extreme weather and ocean racing, having sailed in world class events himself. He spent the last two years serving as Van Liew's shoreside boss, ensuring Le Pingouin was always prepared and ready to race. Often compared to Formula One racing, solo ocean racing requires only one person at the helm, but an extensive team of support to make it all work.

"When I get into each port of the race I hand the keys to Jeffrey," said Brad Van Liew. "I am involved in many aspects of repairing and preparing the boat but he is the man in charge until I head offshore again. He manages the 'pit crew' and I couldn't have won the race without him and the rest of the team."

Wargo and the crew will take Le Pingouin to the Cooper River Marina following their US Custom's clearance. Family will greet them on the dock and offer an early taste of the holiday weekend with cold drinks and fresh food. Those interested in greeting the boat in the harbor or dockside may keep informed on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/TeamLazarus. Designed purely for speed and performance, Le Pingouin offers no cruising boat luxuries. The crew has been forced to live in Van Liew's typical racing environment for three weeks, eating dehydrated food and taking turns attempting to sleep on a bean bag. Arriving Charleston in time for the July 4th holiday will be a welcome reward!

Brad Van Liew sailed Le Pingouin to victory in the Velux 5 Oceans race around the world, winning every ocean sprint of the 30,000 mile race and becoming the first American to ever officially complete three solo races around the globe. He returned to Charleston following the race finale in France, to spend time with his family and complete sponsor and media commitments. Van Liew and his team are supported by an important group of sponsors, including Ondeck, Cape Wind, South Carolina State Ports Authority, Newport Shipyard, Garden & Gun Magazine, Gill North America, Samson Ropes, B&G, Simrad, Awlgrip, West Marine, AlpineAire, Harken, Grawnola, and several others.

Brad Van Liew

Brad Van Liew's entrepreneurial spirit has seen him through successful business endeavors in aviation and sailing. As a professional sailor, Van Liew completed three solo circumnavigations, taking 3rd place as an underdog entrant in the 1998-99 Around Alone race, claiming victory in the 2002-03 edition of that event aboard Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, and sweeping all 5 legs of the VELUX 5 Oceans race in 2010-11 for a first place victory aboard his ECO-60 Le Pingouin. At 43, Brad is America's undisputed #1 extreme solo sailor. Each event requires courage, grit and relentless determination as Brad weathers solitude, sleep deprivation, sparse living conditions, hurricane-force winds and monstrous waves. Van Liew has been awarded an array of honors including the US Navy Seamanship Award, various communications awards, and Sportsman of the Year from California Yacht Club. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California.  For more information visit www.oceanracing.org.