CHARLESTON, S.C., April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, American yachtsman Brad Van Liew achieved an extraordinary win during the fourth leg of the VELUX 5 OCEANS, a solo 30,000-mile race around the world in 60ft yachts.
Van Liew, 43, sailed his yacht Le Pingouin into his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, to win ocean sprint four, a 5,700-mile race through the Atlantic Ocean from Punta del Este, Uruguay.
Van Liew crossed the finish line at 1658 EDT and is expected to arrive at the city's Seabreeze Marina at around 1900 local time. Among the crowds waiting on the dock are his wife Meaghan and his children Tate, 9, and Wyatt, 6, who he hasn't seen since leaving Wellington, New Zealand, on February 6.
"It's the most incredible feeling to win this leg and sail victoriously into my hometown," said Van Liew. "I haven't seen my family in over two months, and I can't wait to spend some quality time with them now that I'm home. The thought of seeing them again kept me going through what has been a really tough two legs."
After a painfully slow and frustrating final few days at sea which saw him battle fluky, light winds on the approach to the finish, Van Liew crossed the line outside Charleston Harbor at 1658 EDT (2058 UTC). He completed the leg in 23 days, 4 hours and 58 minutes, and averaged 10.6 knots over the course of the sprint.
A veteran of two previous editions of the event, Van Liew has won all four legs of the current race and is favored to win the entire event after the final sprint from Charleston to La Rochelle, France.
A win in the final sprint would make Van Liew the most successful sailor ever to compete in the event. Earlier this year, he sailed into the history books during sprint three, becoming the only American ever to have raced around Cape Horn three times.
A well-known figure in Charleston, Van Liew was instrumental in the development of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation, a sail training charity which has worked with more than 6,000 students since 2007.
Van Liew's closest rival, Canadian Derek Hatfield, is expected to arrive in Charleston on Wednesday.
For additional information, visit velux5oceans.com.
SOURCE VELUX 5 OCEANS