The only 'veteran' in the race, this was Brad's second straight leg win and it solidifies his hold on the overall lead for Class 2. By any measure Van Liew sailed a masterful leg and leaves the second place yacht, Everest Horizontal, skippered by fellow American Tim Kent, a distant 800 miles astern. Van Liews crossed the finish line at 15.48.13 local time to give a provisional elapsed time of 44 days, 2 hours, 48 minutes and 13 secords. (This is provisional since Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America incurred a 48 hour penalty for stopping in Spain to repair a viatl reefing line).
Van Liew's strategy from the outset was to gain some westing on the fleet and he fought hard to get south and west of his opponents. Finally, five days after leaving Spain he had opened up a respectable lead on the rest of his class and never looked back. With each position report Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America extended the lead and by the time Van Liew got to the equator he was already 450 miles ahead of the closest boat.
The South Atlantic was not kind to Van Liew. The high pressure system that dominated the weather pattern, allowing the leading Class 1 boats to cut the corner and sail a shorter distance to Cape Town, had filled in again just as Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America got into the region and as a result Brad had to skirt the edge of the light winds.
Finally once into the fringes of the Southern Ocean Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America found her stride and the assault on the longest 24-hour distance record for an Open 50 monohull began in earnest. Between 0300GMT November 23rd and 0300 GMT November 24th, he smashed the previous longest 24 hour run by 11 miles with a distance of 345nm covered. Now, with his second Around Alone leg win Brad Van Liew continues to rewrite the history books.
Congratulations to Brad Van Liew, who is now reunited with his wife and 7 month old daughter Tate Magellan in Cape Town, South Africa, in time for Thanksgiving.