“Around Alone” skipper Brad Van Liew and his team continue training and race preparation aboard their Open-50 Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America in New York harbor. The 28,000 mile solo race that was scheduled to start in Newport, RI in September will now begin in New York as a tribute to the city and to the victims of September 11. It will end eight months later in Rhode Island.
This will be Van Liew’s second “Around Alone” race, after finishing 3rd on another Open-50 in the “Around Alone” 1998-1999 event. This time he has his sights set on a first place victory and feels that both he and the boat are up to the challenge.
Solo ocean racing is not a sport that has received much attention in the United States. The most enthusiastic audience for this sort of racing has been European. Van Liew hopes to see all of that change this with the help of title sponsors such as the clothing designer and manufacturer Tommy Hilfiger.
Van Liew has also received generous industry sponsorship from companies such as Raymarine who has fitted the yacht with their new STC90 instrumentation system, Pro-Furl, and Honeywell.
The 34-year old skipper hopes that with the help of these sponsors, his success in the race will result in greater interest in solo ocean racing in the US.