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

Behind the Scenes: Making the December issue

This month we take you inside the San Diego Magazine offices where our editors debate cover options

On Raising the Next Generation of Activists

Invisible Children’s Danica Russell pens a kids’ book on activism

November Letter from the Editor

Erin Chambers Smith on making nice with the neighbors
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Baja Moment
    In eight short years, Baja’s gone from a virtual dead zone to one of the globe’s top food and drink destinations. Now what?
  2. San Diego Thanksgiving Guide 2014
    Where to dine out, order catering, buy pies, and turkey-trot your way through the holiday
  3. Wake Up And Smell the Coffee
    As American coffee culture moves past the nonfat vanilla lattes toward a more elevated brew, San Diego is right on trend
  4. Top Docs 2014: The Doctors
    Our annual list celebrating the best of the best in the healthcare field
  5. Top Doctors 2014
    732 physicians voted on by their peers in 71 specialties
  6. Win two tickets to the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival
    Celebrate eleven years of decadence at the West Coast's most talked about wine and culinary celebration
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

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.

Win two tickets to the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

Celebrate eleven years of decadence at the West Coast's most talked about wine and culinary celebration
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags