Brad Van Liew arrived in Charleston
American contender for Around Alone has crossed the atlantic with his Open 50
lundi 19 novembre 2001 –
In Van Liew’s second crossing of the Atlantic in five months, his commitment to preparation and training for the coming Around Alone yacht race is evident, his intentions clear. He has arrived on U.S. soil with one of the fastest Open-50 yachts ever designed, the latest in a long stretch of speed-machines from the shoppe of Jean-Marie Finot. Although Van Liew purchased the yacht merely five months ago, he knows the clean lines of the hull (and it’s transom) all too well. In the Around Alone race of 1998-99 Van Liew dueled with previous owner, Mike Garside, for second place over 25,000 miles until Van Liew saw his mast crumble to the salty sea off the coast of Uruguay on the final stretch home. He has now claimed his rival’s best weapon to face a new fleet of solo adrenaline junkies on the high seas.
"It feels great to be here in Charleston," said Van Liew at the City Marina docks. "It has been an incredible and enlightening 21 days at sea. I just can’t believe the speed and agility of this boat. It loves sitting pretty at 20 knots. I’ve found the accelerator but the brakes have eluded me - I just don’t know how to slow it down !"
Van Liew and his shipmate Fred Courouble covered 320 miles in one 24-hour period, averaging 13-14 knots. They stumbled over the remnants of Hurricane Michelle and a choppy Gulfstream with 25-foot seas. Courouble reminisced, "they were really large, steep waves because of the cross seas and gusts of 45 knots. It was nonstop driving in rough aqua-colored seas for 6 hours through the Gulfstream."
Van Liew will be bringing the Mission America yacht to Charleston Boat Works for a complete refit in preparation for the Around Alone 2002-3, which will begin from Newport, Rhode Island in September 2002.