First class two arrival
- van Liew came third four years ago aboard the Open 50 Balance Bar.
Hitting the dock at the Victoria & Albert Waterside, van LIew looked tired and has gained a new slim and trim physique from days of hard, grinding work. Van Liew has clearly the fastest boat in class, but still sailed masterfully with the second yacht in his class Tim Kent's Everest Horizontal, still some 800 miles from Cape Town. Van Liew's official finish time was 13:48:13 GMT (15:48:13 local time) making his total elapsed time 44 days, 2 hours, 48 minutes, 13 seconds for the leg (although Around Alone is now scored by points).
One week after the start from Torquay Van Liew put into Bayona, Northern Spain in order to repair a vital reefing line. This was ahead of the ferocious North Atlantic storm, which subsequently drove the rest of his class and one Open 60 into port, where they all remained trapped by onshore gale force winds and huge breaking seas for five days.
For the first 24 hours after leaving Spain Van Liew sailed in a sloppy, leftover seaway before finally finding a steady wind to propel him south. His 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 and by the time Van Liew got to the equator he was already 450 miles ahead of the closest boat.
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One happy American