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27 November 2002, 12:46 pm
Belcalmed at the Finish
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© Andreas Hanakamp/Marinepics

Around Alone - Leg 2
Cape Town

At 0930 local time (0730 GMT) Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America was becalmed 30 miles from the finish line. The wind, or what there was of it, was from the west.

However, there is a still a strong wind blowing in Cape Town so it's likely that Brad will get moving again soon. His ETA has been pushed back to 1400 local time.

Shortly after noon today Brad van Liew is expected to bring his rocketship Open 50 across the finish line in Cape Town. It is a scorching hot day with clear skies above and a light southeasterly wind blowing. This morning just before 0700 local time Brad was 45 miles from the finish and the wind had died a little. Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America was making 7 knots which after the frantic speeds of the last few days seemed very slow to the skipper. Brad was about to set the gennaker and expected to have the speed back up to 9 knots again and was looking at an arrival just after midday.

Whilst not wishing to call him the Class 2 winner until he actually crosses the finish line, it does seem that with a 900 mile lead on his nearest rival Tim Kent on Everest Horizontal, fairly likely that Brad will score his second win in a row. He has sailed a masterful leg and has set a new 24-hour distance record in the process. Brad's achievements are not lost on his fellow competitors and John Dennis's email this morning gives a small insight into who Brad van Liew really is. "Well Brad finishes this leg tomorrow," John wrote "The first class guy that he is he sent us all personal messages and wished us well for a safe and quick finish. Well done to you Brad on your new 24 hour distance/speed record for an open 50. It just shows if you have the conditions you can move much more quickly."

It's typical of Brad to be thinking about the safety and security of his fellow competitors even as he nears the finish line. Van Liew, as the only veteran of the Around Alone, has become a mentor to many of the other competitors and gives freely of his time and experience to ensure that the other sailors have a safe and unique experience in this race.

Tim Kent on Everest Horizontal crossed the Greenwich Meridian this morning and his note also acknowledged Brad's achievements. He wrote: "Brad is almost there, and has broken the 24 hour record for 50 foot monohulls at 346 miles in 24 hours - and solo to boot! Congrats to Brad. If I miss you before the holiday, have a great Thanksgiving. Don't ever forget to revel in the warmth of family and friends, for they are the truest treasures we have."

This will be Brad's first Thanksgiving with his new daughter Tate, and two turkeys have already been bought and a traditional American Thanksgiving is planned. A place is being set for one other special guest. If the wind gods are kind to fellow American Bruce Schwab on Ocean Planet, he should be joining the Van Liew's at their table. This morning Ocean Planet was a little over 200 miles from the finish line as is expected to arrive in Cape Town early Thursday.

Brian Hancock/ISAF Secretariat
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