Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Velux 5 Oceans - And they say penguins can't fly

by Team Lazarus/Le Pingouin on 23 Feb 2011
American Brad Van Liew gets underway, onboard his yacht Le Pengouin. Photo: Ainhoa Sanchez w-w-i.com Velux 5 Oceans ©
They say penguins can't fly, but American ocean racer Brad Van Liew has urged his ECO-60 racing yacht Le Pingouin to a new level of speed and precision, rounding Cape Horn at 2230 UTC yesterday more than 400 miles ahead of his competitors.

This was Van Liew's third time around the infamous Cape Horn under sail, though experience often takes a back seat to luck when facing the treacherous, unpredictable conditions in the small corridor between the southern tip of South America and the icy landmass of Antarctica. This is where waves and wind build up over thousands of miles, the waters thrust upwards by the continental shelf to heights seen nowhere else on the ocean. Often referred to as the Mt. Everest of sailing, Cape Horn is a milestone that few experience, and none forget.

'Last night was really dangerous. I had 50 knots of wind as I came up onto the shelf, the waves were out of control,' said Van Liew from 56 degrees South latitude. 'The bow stuck into the back of a few waves and the boat went underwater up to the mast. It was a clear reminder of how unforgiving this place is.'

Following the extreme conditions that pushed him past Cape Horn, Van Liew found calmer weather on the other side. America's most successful solo racer aimed his bow close to land and was rewarded with the stark glacial beauty of this remote locale.

'It is a remarkable feeling and I'm going on deck to enjoy the moment,' said Van Liew. 'Last night was intense and I feel blessed to have sailed through it and kept my boat in one piece. It really feels special to be here for a third time in my life, and to achieve something no other American ever has.'

Van Liew has been at sea for more than 15 days since leaving Wellington, New Zealand on the third 'Ocean Sprint' of the 2010-11 Velux 5 Oceans race. The Southern Ocean has been true to its reputation, offering up freezing temperatures, strong winds, and monstrous waves. Van Liew's 43rd birthday and Valentine's Day were both solo occasions at sea this month, but the demands of solo ocean racing hardly allow him to spend much time noticing these landlubber's holidays. He is sleep deprived and subsisting on dehydrated food, with the mission of keeping the boat as light and fast as possible. Van Liew has won the first two Ocean Sprints of this historic race and has also won both 'speed gates' thus far, and he'll now set his sights on the finish line of the third leg of the race in Punta Del Este, Uruguay. Once ashore, Van Liew and his support team will prepare his boat for the penultimate leg of the race to his home town; Charleston, South Carolina.

Companies supporting Van Liew's efforts to win the Velux 5 Oceans race include Ondeck, Cape Wind, Samson, B&G, Simrad, Gill, AlpineAire Foods, West Marine, Awlgrip, Harken, Grawnola, Dubary, and Coast New Zealand. The team is actively pursuing additional companies to benefit from the vast media exposure and hospitality opportunities that exist for the remaining three months of racing, and a planned post-race tour.

The Velux 5 Oceans started 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 headed across the vast Southern Indian Ocean to Wellington, New Zealand. From there, the racing sailboats head to Punta del Este, Uruguay, then up the Atlantic to Charleston, USA before returning across the ocean to France to the finish.

www.oceanracing.org
Ancasta Ker 33 660x82NaiadZhik AkzoNobelb 660x82

Related Articles

The world of sailing comes to Antigua Sailing Week
A staggering number of sailors from worldwide are descending on the Caribbean Antigua island to celebrate 50th edition. About 1,500 competitors from 32 countries will enjoy five days of world class racing, preceded by the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race and the Peters and May Round Antigua Race.
Posted today at 10:09 am
Ida Lewis Distance Race - Popular sailboat race set for August
The 13th edition of the Ida Lewis Distance Race is scheduled to start on Friday, August 18, 2017 The 13th edition of the Ida Lewis Distance Race is scheduled to start on Friday, August 18, 2017, promising once again to deliver an exciting late-season topper to a busy summer of competitive racing on Narragansett Bay. Classes for IRC, PHRF, One Design, Multihull and Double-Handed insure that everyone (with a qualifying boat of 28 feet or longer) has a place to fit in.
Posted today at 7:21 am
Sperry Charleston Race Week 2017 in review
The underlying goal for every race organizer – even those staging benefit regattas – is to provide safe, fair sailing The underlying goal for every race organizer – even those staging benefit regattas – is to provide safe, fair, competitive sailing. When you have your hands on the helm of a mega regatta such as Sperry Charleston Race Week, that doesn’t change. But it does become more complicated.
Posted today at 2:19 am
New faces in town with RC44 Sotogrande Cup set to begin
This event follows from last season's RC44 World Championship also held off this magnificent development Of the eight teams competing off Sotogrande, favourite is Igor Lah's Team CEEREF. Not only is the cockpit on the Slovenian RC44 adorned with the overall championship leader's 'golden wheels', but Lah's team also won the World Championship here in 2016.
Posted on 26 Apr
Sailing World Cup Hyères –Day 2– Zegers and van Veen show how its done
Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen were unstoppable on day two, winning both Women's 470 races in convincing style Out of the 534 competitors from 52 nations racing across ten Olympic events, Open Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, the Dutch team were the standout performers.
Posted on 26 Apr
Women’s Sailing Conference slated for June 3 Marblehead, MA
The event, which features hands-on land and water-based workshops and seminars, offers women a fantastic opportunity The event, which features hands-on land and water-based workshops and seminars, offers women a fantastic opportunity to learn or hone sailing skills, network with other women sailors from all over the United States and gain the confidence necessary to become a valuable crew member or knowledgeable skipper
Posted on 26 Apr
GC32 Racing Tour Owner-Driver Championship heats up
Unique aspect of GC32 is that compared to other foiling catamarans, it is simpler to sail and logistically easier to run Team Argo is sailing with the same crew as it had for February’s GC32 Championship in Oman, including leading American Moth and big boat sailor Anthony Kotoun and British former Olympic and America’s Cup sailor Alister Richardson.
Posted on 26 Apr
RORC Season's Points Championship and Cervantes Trophy Race preview
Over 5000 sailors from all over the world will race in the biggest offshore sailing competition in the world. Over 5000 sailors from all over the world will race in the biggest offshore sailing competition in the world. While this year the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race is the showcase event, there are fourteen testing races that make up the championship, and every race has its own coveted prize for the overall winner and for class honours.
Posted on 26 Apr
Biggest Round the World Ocean Race returns to Liverpool
The biggest round-the-world ocean race is to return to Liverpool with start and finish of this unique global challenge The biggest round-the-world ocean race is to return to Liverpool with the start and finish of this unique global challenge moving from the capital back to the River Mersey on the tenth anniversary of its last partnership with the region.
Posted on 26 Apr
2018 BVI Spring Regatta adds new race to Sailing Festival
On the heels of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, preparations have already begun for 2018. On the heels of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, preparations have already begun for 2018. The week of March 27 - April 1 will offer the unique opportunity to race under a full moon. With that illumination, we will run the inaugural 'Full Moon Race, 64 Islands ~One Brilliant Night'.
Posted on 26 Apr