American solo sailor Brad Van Liew has crossed the finish line of the final sprint of the Velux 5 Oceans solo round the world yacht race to secure overall victory. The 43-year-old sailed his 60ft yacht Le Pingouin into La Rochelle, France, and across the ocean sprint five finish line in first place at 2053 local time (1853UTC), making it a clean sweep of all of the legs.
AMERICAN solo ocean racer Brad Van Liew. Photo: Ainhoa Sanchez/w-w-i.com
Brad is a past winner of the Velux 5 Oceans, having won every leg in class two in the 2002/3 edition of the race. His victory this time round makes him the only person in the 29-year history of the Velux 5 Oceans (formerly the BOC Challenge and Around Alone) to make two clean sweeps of the race.
During ocean sprint three from Wellington in New Zealand to Punta del Este in Uruguay Brad made his third successful solo rounding of Cape Horn, the most southerly tip of South America, making him the only American ever to race solo round the famous landmark three times.
Brad completed the 3,600-mile final sprint from his hometown of Charleston in South Carolina to La Rochelle in 12 days, 23 hours and 52 minutes.
Velux 5 Oceans website