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30 September 2002, 12:54 pm
Tommy Wins Class 2
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Brad Van Liew

Around Alone

At 09:42:49 local time (08:42:49 UTC) Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America crossed the finish line to win Class 2.
It was a slow finish in calm conditions, but Brad was relieved to finally be in Torbay and to finally win a leg of the Around Alone. Story to follow.

At six-o-clock local time Monday morning, American Brad van Liew on Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America was 7 miles from the finish in Torbay. The winds were light from the southeast and the yacht was sailing towards the finish line like a silent ghost. The skipper on board is tired. His email to Race Opps received earlier in the morning was poignant and to the point. "It's overcast, chilly and as dark a night as I can remember. I am tired and very much in need of a nap, but their are so many targets on radar as we slide up the shoreline towards Torbay that I wouldn't dare."

Brad had a commanding lead on his Class 2 opponents and arrived in Torbay well ahead of the second place yacht, Spirit of Canada. His victory is highly deserved, a cumulative effort, the result of many factors including a terrific team, a dedicated sponsor and a hot rod yacht. It is Brad's first leg victory in the Around Alone, something that eluded him 4 years ago when he was chasing faster boats around the world.

There is no doubt that the moment he crossed the finish line would be emotional. Other than the fact that he has been separated from his wife and new baby, it will the achievement of a life goal that has been in the forefront of his mind for many years. "For 15 years I have dreamed of winning a leg of this event and could name every person who has done so throughout the history of the race off the top of my head. I am proud to be a part of that fraternity," he wrote.

While Brad celebrates his victory, a close race is developing out on the race course between third place Everest Horizontal and Bayer Ascensia. Tim Kent on Everest had been sailing a southerly course since experiencing autopilot problems shortly after the start, but he has not converged with the fleet and at last poll was 4 miles ahead of his Canadian rival. Meanwhile the other Canadian on the water, Derek Hatfield on Spirit of Canada was 609 miles from Torbay and expected to finish on Thursday.
Brian Hancock/ISAF News Editor
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