Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Brad Wins Leg Four!

American Brad Van Liew wins 4th of 5 legs in round the world race as he arrives at his home port

By Sean McQuilken
Special to the Daily Boater

Brad Van Liew triumphantly arrives in Charleston Tuesday. Photo: Ainhoa Sanchez/w-w-i.com

At 1658 local time (4:58pm) American Brad Van Liew finished leg 4 (5700 miles) of the Velux 5 Oceans in first place after a little over 23 days at sea. This is Brad's fourth leg win in a row; he has also won 3 out of 4 speed gates (timed runs between designated points).

Brilliant Strategy
In this leg from Punta del Esta Uruguay into Brad's home port of Charleston, SC due to the closeness of the boats he elected to forgo the speed gate in order to focus on positioning in order to set himself up for the run to the finish. This strategy seems to have paid off as it resulted in Brad finishing about 150 miles ahead of the second placed boat Derek Hatfield of Canada, as of the time this article was written Derek was approximately 12-15 hours away from the finish expecting to finish sometime before noon on Wednesday (weather dependent of course).

Winning It All?
With this leg win Brad has built up a sizable points lead and is expected to win the overall race title. I am not 100% sure exactly what Brad needs to do in order to win the race but I believe a 3rd or better in the next leg means he wins the overall race title. Brad and the rest of the sailors (when they finish) have until May 14th when they set off across the Atlantic for a 3600 mile race to the leg and race finish in La Rochelle, France. Even though this leg is one of the shorter ones an ocean crossing is never easy and anything can happen.

Stay tuned to the Daily Boater for a more in depth analysis of leg 4 and a preview of leg 5.

Caught On Film
I would also like to give a huge thank you to sailinganarchy.com - they provided live streaming video of Brad's finish and arrival into Charleston, SC. Here's a little (40 minute) piece of the video they grabbed...


Watch live video from onthewateranarchy on Justin.tv

Editor's Note

Do You Sail?
If you enjoy messing about in sailboats, then you should check out the blog by that name - at www.messingaboutinsailboats.com. I always enjoy their Sailing Photo of the Day feature, and it's especially cool when they cover content from one of our nautical sites like they did yesterday with FirstBoat's top ten boat names. We're going to keep an eye on these guys!