An Apt Homecoming—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
American solo skipper Brad Van Liew has won the fourth leg of the Velux 5 Oceans Race, beating three other singlehanded Eco 60 ('recycled' IMOCA 60s) skippers into his hometown port of Charleston, South Carolina. If you think you've read a similar sentence involving Van Liew in recent months, you're correct: The 43-year-old Van Liew has swept every leg this race so far (and won his class the last two times that he competed in this race, back when it was known as the Around Alone).
Van Liew sailed his Eco 60 Le Pingouin some 5,900 miles from Punta del Este, Uruguay to his hometown waters, crossing the finishing line after 23 days, 4 hours and 58 minutes. Given his dominance in this race, there's zero doubt that Van Liew is an awesome singlehanded sailor—it would be great to see him have a shot at a fully funded Open 60 campaign, as he is one of a handful of American sailors who have the experience and skill to compete seriously on solo sailing's grandest stage, the Vendee Globe. Congrats to Van Liew, and stay tuned for more coverage of the Velux 5 Oceans Race as the rest of the fleet approaches Charleston.
Brad Van Liew onboard his yacht Le Pingouin at start of Ocean Sprint 4 from ÊPunta del Este, Uruguay to to Charleston SC, USA. - Velux 5 Oceans Ainhoa Sanchez/Velux 5 Oceans
In the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), Team Telefonica have finally named their afterguard, specifically Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez—the Spanish duo that took second place in the double-handed, nonstop Barcelona World Race—with Martinez serving as skipper. In addition, the duo won a gold medal in the 49er class in the 2004 Games and a silver medal in at the 2008 Olympics; impressively, this will be their third consecutive VOR, after having sailed aboard Telefonica Blue in the last edition. 'The Volvo Ocean Race is the Formula 1 of ocean sailing,' said Martinez. 'It has the highest technology, the best boats, the best people there. So, [I'm] really looking forward to going there.' More inside.
Tech-minded sailors should check out Mikko Brummer's article describing how a Finn physically moves through the water, inside this issue. Brummer works at WB-Sails, and was involved in some Finn class sail-development work that required a 3D model of the boat's hull, cockpit, crew in order to more accurately simulate sail performance. While they were at it, the team added foils and created a series of really cool 3D images of the boat' underside. If you've ever been interested in learning more about how a boat's underbody profile and foil shapes affect her performance, this is an interesting read.
In domestic sailing circles, be sure to check out our wrap-up coverage of Charleston Race Week, as well as Joy Dunigan's image galleries of the regatta's Melges 24 and Melges 20 fleets. Also, US SAILING has nominated 16 American sailors to represent the U.S. at the Pam American Games, which will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico from Oct. 14-30. Sailing takes place in nine classes, four of which are Olympic classes. 'Our 2011 team represents the best in each one design class,' said Head Coach Leandro Spina. 'Many have won national and world championships and the all know what it's like to compete at the highest level of our sport. They have what it takes to bring medals back from Mexico.' Be sure to check out our coverage inside to see which sailors made the cut for this prestigious event.
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