DODGING HURRICANES VAN LIEW TAKES A BEATING IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC DURING QUALIFYING SAIL
Le Pingouin Takes the Hefty Breeze of 45-50 Knots in Stride and Proves Her Power
SEPTEMBER 17, 2010 (Charleston, SC) - Exactly thirty days from today U.S. sailor Brad Van Liew will take on 30,000 miles in the VELUX 5 OCEANS solo race around the globe. Getting to the start line in France and qualifying for the event, meant Van Liew faced crossing the Atlantic during the tropical season, a time of year known for serious storms and hurricanes charging up the Atlantic Ocean and in some cases dancing close to land on the East Coast of the U.S. Van Liew's concern was less about the hurricanes making landfall, and more about moving fast enough to get out of the way, as he and his crew aboard Le Pingouin were positioned mid-Atlantic when hurricanes Igor and Julia began building steam and heading north.
"We took a beating with 45-50 knots of wind and strong seas," Van Liew reported via satellite email. "We knew we had to work through it and knock out as many miles as we could for three days to avoid the path of the hurricanes. It felt a bit like a chase. I certainly would not want to be where we were three days ago in the coming week!"
The next few days will mark the final stretch of Van Liew's qualification sail to compete in the upcoming VELUX 5 OCEANS 2010-11 race, which begins October 17, 2010. Van Liew has competed in this epic solo race twice before aboard 50-foot race boats, taking third place as an underdog entry in 1999 and winning first place in his class in 2003 with a convincing cumulative lead of 21 days. This will be Van Liew's first entry in the race aboard a 60-foot boat. With the start looming a mere month away, Van Liew feels prepared and enthusiastic for the challenge ahead.
"I feel like I am getting back into the groove of solo ocean racing," said Van Liew. "The sleep deprivation, dehydrated diet, weather analytics, and constant need to prevent and repair onboard systems brings back a lot of memories, and reminds me that you have to be a jack of all trades to compete in this arena of sport."
Van Liew and his crew are expected to arrive in La Rochelle, France early next week. From there, they will attend to repairs, make adjustments to systems they have tested offshore, conduct final sail testing, and continue the search for supporting sponsors. Although Van Liew has attained support from industry leaders such as Samson, B&G, Simrad, Gill, and West Marine, finding a Title Sponsor to name the race boat and enjoy the lion's share of branding space has eluded the team. Ondeck joined the effort recently as the first Associate Sponsor, and the team is actively pursuing additional companies that would like to benefit from the vast media exposure and hospitality opportunities that exist for the 9-months of racing.
The Velux 5 Oceans starts from La Rochelle in France on October 17, 2010 and features five ocean sprints. After heading from La Rochelle, France to Cape Town, South Africa, the race heads across the vast Southern Indian Ocean to Wellington, New Zealand. From there, the racing yachts will head to Salvador, Brazil, then up the Atlantic to Charleston, USA before returning across the ocean to France to the finish.
For further information on Brad Van Liew or Team Lazarus, please contact:
Meaghan Van Liew
M: + 1 843-814-3987