American ocean racer sails to victory

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American solo sailor Brad Van Liew made it four wins in four legs in the Velux 5 Oceans solo round-the-world race Tuesday as he sailed into his hometown of Charleston, S.C., to a hero's welcome.


Charleston residents turned out to cheer the 43-year-old as he ended a grueling 5,900-mile leg from Punta del Este in Uruguay. After a painfully slow and frustrating final few days at sea that saw him battle fluky, light winds on the approach to the finish, Van Liew steered his 60-foot Eco 60 yacht, Le Pingouin,across the line outside Charleston Harbor at 4:58 p.m. (EDT).

He completed the leg in 23 days, four hours and 58 minutes, and averaged 10.6 knots during the sprint.

"For me, winning this leg is so special. If I could have chosen just one leg to win it would have been this one. This is my home port, I am very involved in the maritime community in Charleston and all my friends and family are here," Van Liew said on the docks. "It would have been pretty disappointing to have won the previous legs and not win this one. I was very focused and very determined."

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