Monday, January 17, 2011

Racing Around the World

Two-for-two... American wins again in grueling solo yacht race around the world

Brad Van Liew celebrates. Photo © Ainhoa Sanchez/w-w-i.com
This weekend we learned the winners of the second sprint of the VELUX 5 OCEANS. The five-sprint solo around the world yacht race is considered one of the most challenging competitions in all of sports.

Brad Van Liew, the 42-year-old from Charleston, South Carolina, has now gone two-for-two as he was the first to sail into Wellington, New Zealand - the finish line for the second sprint. Polish sailor Zbigniew Gutkowski, known as Gutek, came in second place in this leg, arriving in Wellington less than 24 hours after Van Liew. 
The remaining two (yes, there are only four yachts left in this race) are still on their way to the second finish line in New Zealand. Canadian Derek Hatfield is about to take third place in this sprint, and the remaining skipper is Chris Stanmore-Major, who hails from Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Le Pingouin sailing across the 2nd sprint finish line. Photo © Ainhoa Sanchez/w-w-i.com

Gutek cruises into Wellington. Photo © Ainhoa Sanchez/w-w-i.com

The VELUX 5 OCEANS is the oldest single-handed round the world yacht race. Run every 4 years since 1982, the race is the longest and toughest event for any individual in any sport. The race is a series of five high-pressure ocean sprints within a marathon circumnavigation. The 30,000 route takes the sailors from La Rochelle to Cape Town, then onto Wellington, Salvador, Charleston and back to La Rochelle for the finish.

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