Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alone At The Bottom of the World


Published:

Brad Van Liew, an adrenaline junkie who grew up sailing San Diego Bay, is aboard his 60-foot sailboat Le Pingouin, climbing 32-foot waves of gray-green salt water, passing icebergs and watching a horizon that stretches thousands of miles to the next port off Antarctica.

Alone.

Van Liew, 42, is one of five entrants in the Velux 5 Oceans, a 30,000-mile round-the-world, singlehanded yacht race held every four years. The tough, dangerous solo venture across the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Indian, South Pacific and Southern oceans has in past years brought dismastings and death. The race started last October in La Rochelle, France; it stops in four ports — Cape Town, South Africa; Wellington, New Zealand; Salvador, Brazil; and Charleston, South Carolina — and finishes in France this spring.

Van Liew calls his refitted Open 60 monohull painted NASCAR yellow a “weapon.” A professional sailor since 1997, he has done this race twice before and won it in 2003, aboard Tommy Hilfiger’s Freedom America.

Born in Los Angeles, Van Liew moved to Rancho Santa Fe with his family when he was 2. He played football at Francis Parker High School and spent his free time racing motocross, scuba diving and sailing the 26-foot race­boat he kept at Coronado Cays Yacht Club.

He lives in Charleston with wife Meaghan and two small children, Tate Magellan and Wyatt. Still, he says, “San Diego will always be my home. It is the city I gauge all others against. I miss Taco Auctioneer in Solana Beach if it is still there!”

Follow Brad Van Liew around the world at ­velux5oceans.com and oceanracing.org.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Hello, Dolly: The Queen of Country Music Comes to San Diego

Here she comes again! 5 reasons to get your tickets now for the Dolly Parton concert on September 27

(Park)ing Day Transformed Downtown Parking Spots into Public Parks

We explored 8 of them

How Agent Orange Is Still Devastating San Diegans

San Diego vets are still suffering from the toxic herbicide, and struggling to get benefits from the VA
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 27 Secret San Diego Spots
    From hidden caves to dead bodies beneath a public park, here's our third annual guide to all things hidden and hush-hush
  2. FIRST LOOK: False Idol
    San Diego is now home to a world-class tiki bar—False Idol
  3. Best of San Diego 2016
    Our annual and completely subjective guide to SD’s best
  4. The Chilling Facts About Craft Beer
    Why colder is not always better
  5. FIRST LOOK: Decoy Dockside
    San Marcos gets an ambitious, two-story gastro-lodge on the lake with Decoy Dockside.
  6. Top 10 Off-Site Events during Comic-Con 2016
    No badge, no problem—these happenings are free and open to the public
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags