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MR.CLEAN

Guess Who's Back? Van Liew in Velux 5 Oceans

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Rise From The Dead

 

We promised a big announcement for the US solo racing scene today, and we're extremely happy to pass word along that long time supporter and fan of Sailing Anarchy Brad Van Liew is throwing his hat back into the solo round-the-world racing scene. He'll do it in the Eco 60 Class with the race where he made his name; formerly the BOC, then the Around Alone, and now the Velux 5 Oceans. Brad has proven to be one of a tiny handful of Americans to truly succeed in the solo game, as well as one of an even smaller group to garner significant US and international media attention while doing it. To make it even more interesting, we hear that there may be a network TV deal in the mix with the backing of a major Hollywood studio.

 

Check out the awesome Lazarus Project website presentation here, and see the full press release below. Good luck, brother. Billy Black photo.

 

10/21/2009

 

For Immediate Release: October 21st, 2009

Rights-free race images available to download in high-resolution from www.w-w-i.com/velux_5_oceans/

Interviews and video footage available on request from the communications team

 

RACE LEGEND BRAD VAN LIEW RETURNS TO THE VELUX 5 OCEANS

Celebrated ocean racer confirmed as first U.S. entry in the Eco 60 Class

 

Race organisers are pleased to announce that today, Brad Van Liew confirmed his entry in the VELUX 5 OCEANS 2010-11 race. Van Liew's new ocean racing campaign targets the popular and exciting Eco 60 Class, and constitutes the first United States entry in the race. The move represents a return to the race he famously won in 2003 as the skipper of the Class II Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America.

 

“This race has had a massive impact on my life over the past decade," said the 41-year old ocean racer. "During the 1998-99 Around Alone, the predecessor to the VELUX, my family and I fell in love with Charleston, the start/finish port of the race. We subsequently made it our new home." Van Liew explained that with his resounding victory in 2003, "I felt like I'd achieved my goals in ocean racing, and could spend my time developing the South Carolina Maritime Foundation, a truly worthy organization." But when VELUX 5 OCEANS organizers decided to return to Charleston for the 2010-11 race, it ignited a spark in me that I didn't really expect, and Meaghan and I have decided to focus on building a campaign to compete in this edition of this epic race."

 

Van Liew's nascent campaign is currently named "Lazarus" and the American sailor has targeted the Eco 60 Class from the outset. "The new class provides a low-cost platform with true 'green' credentials that appeal to me personally and will also appeal to potential US sponsors," Van Liew said. "I've quietly built a team around me over the past few months to secure the necessary funding and a boat to race competitively and safely, and while there's a huge amount of work to do over the next twelve months, I'm confident that we can cross the starting line in La Rochelle to complete this amazing journey."

 

Van Liew made his name first as the skipper of Balance Bar in the 1998 edition of the race, sending in gripping daily reports of a horrific Southern Ocean storm that were read by millions. He returned in the 2002-03 race as the skipper of the colourful and patriotic Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, winning Class II convincingly while continuing a legacy of communication with the public as he won every leg of the race. Race followers of the Around Alone became addicted to Brad's reports from the far corners of the earth, and he developed significant media interest in the United States as a result of his unique and engaging writing style. Van Liew remains one of a small handful of racing sailors to be featured in stories in the New York Times, Washington Post, and LA Times as well as NBC's Nightly News. One of the most popular skippers on the ocean racing circuit, he will undoubtedly have the full support of the Charleston community as he takes on the planet’s oceans in The Ultimate Solo Challenge.

 

“Brad Van Liew is a true legend of the VELUX 5 OCEANS race and the solo ocean racing community," concluded VELUX 5 OCEANS Race Director David Adams. "His return is a great boost for this race, and we're grateful for the opportunity to welcome a skipper of his raw talent to the race, and also one who communicates his life at sea so well to a global audience." Adams added that it will be "fantastic for Charleston to have a hometown hero to get behind. The stopover in South Carolina in spring 2011 will undoubtedly be a fantastic celebration. We have now announced three skippers – Derek Hatfield, Christophe Bullens and Brad Van Liew - and so far we have ten skippers entered in the race.”

 

For further information on Brad Van Liew or the Lazarus campaign, please contact Meaghan Van Liew:

T: + 1 843-814-3966

E: mvanliew@oceanracing.org

W: www.oceanracing.org

 

For further information on the VELUX 5 OCEANS, please contact Tim Kelly, Race Director of Communications:

T: + 44 7773 325 533

E: tkelly@velux5oceans.com

W: www.velux5oceans.com

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Most AWESOME news in sailing and US Sailing in a long time!

 

To Brad, Meaghan and the kids... Congratulations and we are glad to see you back doing what you really like to do! Sailing and challenging yourself to the max!

 

Sailing is going to be a much better sport, better known and better recognized through you and all your efforts - not that is hasn't already!

 

I applaud you, Meaghan and the kids for supporting you in making that tough decision and following your heart.

 

I'm 100% behind you and looking forward to seeing you on the starting line and successfully through the race!

 

Cheers mate. Proud of you!

 

Luiz

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Brad and Meaghan Van Liew have been warm hosts and energetic organizers during Charleston Race Week. Brad and Meaghan's enthusiasm for small sport boats has been a big part of why this fun weekend in April is one of our favorite events on the East Coast.

 

We wish them well!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

From the The Roaring Twenties Line at CRW.

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A little Pirates of the Caribbean music at the end. Could Disney be involved?

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Brad and Meaghan Van Liew have been warm hosts and energetic organizers during Charleston Race Week. Brad and Meaghan's enthusiasm for small sport boats has been a big part of why this fun weekend in April is one of our favorite events on the East Coast.

 

We wish them well!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

From the The Roaring Twenties Line at CRW.

My understanding is that Brad and Meaghan will still be involved with CRW for 2010 in some capacity. Frankly, with an expected 200 boats or so on the water, the event would be up shit's creek without them. The next year I expect they will be a bit busy...

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Where do we send $$$ to to support this Clean? Set up a link for dollars!

 

Went for a sail with Brad right after he won the last race he did and he is a stand up guy. Let me drive the boat and all. Went out to the Dragon in Boston and over some beers he gave me the low down on the race. I want to support Brad and Clean, we need a interview!!!!

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Hooray! Good to have the Big Guy back. What fun this will be!

 

What boat is he thinking of? Hmm...there aren't very many that really have a shot at winning the Eco 60 class.

The suspense builds.

 

Watching BVL in the 98/99 AA was a big part of driving me into going for the Vendee, but I can't blame him for all of it... :lol:

I think it was something he put in the turkey in Cape Town....

 

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Hooray! Good to have the Big Guy back. What fun this will be!

 

What boat is he thinking of? Hmm...there aren't very many that really have a shot at winning the Eco 60 class.

The suspense builds.

 

Watching BVL in the 98/99 AA was a big part of driving me into going for the Vendee, but I can't blame him for all of it... :lol:

I think it was something he put in the turkey in Cape Town....

 

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I think it might have been something you drank before you cooked the turkey.

 

Meanwhile, Brad's reports from the southern ocean storm on Quokka had quite a bit to do with me fucking off to sea around that time too. Inspiring stuff, a lot of it is on the www.oceanracing.org flash presentation.

 

We'll do a live interview with Brad after we get back from Annapolis, and we'll give you all an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. But I don't think he'll answer about the boat...not until he owns it!

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If Brad's serious about winning then the best options would be Ecover and Artemis 1. They're the newest boats, though their asking prices are around a million euros. I'd add Roxy and Cheminees Poujoulat as others worth considering.

 

All four boats are currently listed for sale, so either he's not purchased it yet (and hence is keeping quiet), or has got something else.

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Uh.. shouldn't the focus be on sponsorship before going boat shopping ?

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If Brad's serious about winning then the best options would be Ecover and Artemis 1. They're the newest boats, though their asking prices are around a million euros. I'd add Roxy and Cheminees Poujoulat as others worth considering.

 

All four boats are currently listed for sale, so either he's not purchased it yet (and hence is keeping quiet), or has got something else.

 

Ecover was launched in June 2003, so its not legal for the Eco 60 class. Artemis is the newest potential Eco 60 boat.

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Uh.. shouldn't the focus be on sponsorship before going boat shopping ?

 

It's a bit of a chicken and egg thing...the sponsor wants to see something concrete (boat), and you need a sponsor ($$$) to buy a boat. Probably a little different for Brad and the other top guys, but lower down, that's kinda the problem.

 

Great news though. This Velux should be good.

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Congrats, Brad. Great to see you back in the game and best wishes with the campaign.

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What about the old Aviva? She needs a rig, but otherwise complies (I think).

 

She has been sitting on Yachtworld with the Sale Pending sign up for a few weeks now, so looks like someone has her lined up - hopefully for the Velux.

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Great news! I vaguely remember the THFA campaign. I'll be looking forward to this one with renewed interest.

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Clean, any idea as to when an interview with Brad will be available?

 

+1 i wanna read that. go brad!

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From the front page (if not up now, then in a bit)

 

Return Of The Jedi

 

Since the announcement that solo ocean racer Brad Van Liew was entering the Velux 5 Oceans Race, we haven't heard much besides the few tidbits we've found at his very slick website. But that's all about to change with a vengeance.

 

Brad's in La Rochelle, France, aboard his new (to him) Open 60. He just landed there, and now a few days of hard work are ahead before he crosses the Atlantic bound for Charleston, SC with three long-time crew. It's one of the lightest Open 60s ever built, with one of the tallest masts - this is Marc Thiercelin's Pro-Forms, formerly Tiscali, formerly Whirlpool, and it'll compete in the Eco60 Class of the next Velux, where it looks like most of the action will be.

 

Brad has picked up where he left off with the stellar communication that won him numerous awards during every leg of the Around Alone, though the world has moved on from Quokka - his daily updates are now in blog form with pics, along with the obligatory Facebook and Twitter backup, and his Lazarus Project website just relaunched with all-new content tonight. Given his track record, we expect to hear good stories from Van Liew frequently during his 5000 NM trip home from France, and of course we'll be aboard the minute he hits the dock.

 

You can read about the snow-covered preparation party, a story about a tiny blue French car, and see a prototype of possibly the most revolutionary gadget in onboard power generation since the generator at the blog, and here's the report from Monday:

 

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Saying good night last night to the kids was more emotional than I would have expected. 

I couldn’t hide my feelings and concerns from Tate - she picked up on my sadness and became very emotional herself, you just can't fool her for a minute!  5 year-old Wyatt doesn't quite grasp the enormity of the whole 'sailing across the North Atlantic in the dead  of winter' thing so was a bit less emotional. Time really buries the bad stuff - I'd forgotten so many of the feelings that have occurred in the past twenty-four hours, but they're familiar as well - leaving your family for the unknown is just not something that ever disappears from your heart.  Leaving like this is just so different than the days before I loved these creatures so much more than life itself, and I continue to promise myself to be cautious and make dammed sure to stay on the boat...

 

The whole process of embarking on this next campaign is intended to be an epic journey not just for me and my shore crew, but for the entire family. I want it to be a hugely positive experience for the kids, and the lump in my throat and tears welling up in my eyes as I loaded Tate into her carpool this morning - well, no matter how exciting, anything can happen and it would be foolish to forget about that whenever any of us put to sea.

 

Tate was all questions this morning, just as she has been for the past couple of months of living the circus that the startup of a major ocean race campaign like the Velux 5 Oceans is.  But today's questions were different than last week's; they've changed from "Daddy, when can I go to France?" to "Daddy, why can't Jeffrey and the crew bring the boat home without you?"

 

Life is all about balancing how bad you want it, and great things take great sacrifice.  In some ways I feel alive again for the first time in years, and in others, the desk in a warm office and the associated life-treadmill seems an easy way to to stave off the lump in my throat.

 

I guess if it was easy, everyone would do it.  And God knows I love it.  And now, I head to an airliner for my reunion with destiny.  The race has already started, and the rest of the world just doesn't know it yet.

-BVL

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Where do we send $$$ to to support this Clean? Set up a link for dollars!

Here ya go Max - I'm sure Meaghan and Brad would love a little grassroots support right about now! Linky here.

 

They leave on Monday in the new boat I think, should be back in Charleston what - 25 days later or so? They are taking the mellow (ish) route. South until Madeira or further, then right, then right again. We'll greet them at the harbor entrance in a few weeks.

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This is pretty exciting for the sport of offshore sailing and sailing in general in the States. Brad is one of the only Americans to not just kick ass in this arena with a well organized program but also be a MASSIVE success from a media standpoint. Hopefully his Velux campaign will help bring the marketability of the sport of sailing to the forefront of mainstream media and help make sponsorship a more realistic possiblity for the other Americans out there that would like to follow in Brad's footsteps. I for one am trying to learn as much as possible from a campaign that is bound to be a great success on all fronts.

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Latest blog update from BVL:

 

Jan 29, 2010

 

Lat 45°57’ North

Long 1°59’ West

Heading 255°

 

Off the dock and in the Harbor – Eel Fishermen on Strike

It was a long night in a very small hotel room with terrible internet access, but we received just enough GRIB files to know that we needed to get the heck out of dodge. There are not a lot of weather windows in January, and to safely transit the Bay of Biscay in winter, we needed to leave La Rochelle sooner rather than later.

 

At 10:00 AM we were in the commercial harbor, anxious to get going. The wind is out of the NW and anticipated to move North, that's some seriously good news for us so we are moving fast! The bad news is that we were not the only ones with business in the harbor, and about 15 eel fisherman are anchored and tied together with chains, blocking the mouth of the harbor - not all that uncommon in France but awfully inconvenient this morning!

 

Thankfully, my Franco-American crew proved their value once again and JC Caso was able to negotiate some movement from the fishing vessels (who completely get what we are all about) and we were on our way...

 

Now it is 1722 GMT and we are pounding our way upwind in 40 knots of breeze gusting 50 in the Bay of Biscay. Hell of a way to ease a new (to me) boat and rusty skipper into serious offshore sailing again. But at least we are on our heading!

 

She Sails!

The boat is FAST. We were banging awy at 15 knots until we decided to roll up the staysail, and now we're doing 8-9 knots and it is still very wet and rough. I just finished a two-hour trick on the helm, hating to put the boat under so much load right out of the gate, but there are not a lot of options until we see the Northerly shift we are banking on.

 

And while getting the snot smacked out of me is probably good for my psyche, we are going to ease the pain on the boat as much as possible - this is a delivery to a refit, not a race. Still, things look good for getting home and seeing my kiddies soon.

 

More reports as soon as I can manage - thanks for all the interest and support!

 

-Brad

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I have been looking at the weather over the atlantic lately, and I don't know where he's at right now, but there's some really nasty weather headin' towards Europe at the moment across the Atlantic...

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Hey this thread needs to be revived - and Scot suggested that we post questions for Brad here. First I want to send my congratulations on an incredible first leg of the race. Average speed of over 12 knots over a 7000+ nm course through incredible weathere challenges (just look at what his competitors are still dealing with out there). And all this after two knockdowns along the way! For those of us that survive on bouy racing this is just incredible. Brad is a former client of mine and I could not be prouder.

 

OK so Scot suggested that we should come up with questions for him to ask Brad during his interview. That interview was supposed to be today so I hope this isn't too late. My questions is about how he is able to stay focused - and avoid mistakes and injuries - in the face of pure exhaustion.

 

Dave Weil

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Congrats on the win of the leg !

 

How do you keep a proper lookout by means of sight and sound when your are asleep?

Good luck on the next legs - we hope to see your boat when you return to Charleston.

Sail safe!

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up on Front Page, link is in story called "Night Vision". Will post here tomorrow.

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