Sailing – Mid-Atlantic - February

Posted on 02 February 2010 Written by Jane Kopacki
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Race legend slated to return to Velux 5 Oceans

Organizers for the Velux 5 Oceans 2010-11 announced that Brad Van Liew confirmed his entry in the race.

Van Liew’s new ocean-racing campaign targets the popular and exciting Eco 60 Class and constitutes the first U.S. entry, according to organizers. The move represents a return to the race he famously won in 2003 as the skipper of the Class II Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America.
“This race has had a massive impact on my life over the past decade,” says the 41-year-old ocean racer. “During the 1998-99 Around Alone, the predecessor to the Velux, my family and I fell in love with Charleston (S.C.), the start/finish port of the race. We subsequently made it our new home.”
Van Liew’s nascent campaign is currently named “Lazarus” and the American sailor has targeted the Eco 60 Class from the outset.
“The new class provides a low-cost platform with true ‘green’ credentials that appeal to me personally and will also appeal to potential U.S. sponsors,” Van Liew says. “I’ve quietly built a team around me over the past few months to secure the necessary funding and a boat to race competitively and safely and, while there’s a huge amount of work to do over the next 12 months, I’m confident that we can cross the starting line in La Rochelle to complete this amazing journey.”

US Sailing pays tribute to Roy Disney
Roy Edward Disney, nephew of Walt Disney, died Dec. 16 after a long battle with stomach cancer. He was 79.
In 2008, US Sailing, national governing body of the sport, awarded Disney its Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy for his outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing in the U.S. over many years.
“Roy Disney was great for the sport of sailing. He set a high example for all of us, as a top competitor, visionary and philanthropist. Roy has inspired so many young people to follow their dream of life on the water,” said Gary Jobson, president of US Sailing, in a statement.
Disney’s involvement in the sport goes back decades. As a longtime, reliable supporter of the sport, his impact has been felt across the board, from youth sailing to the Olympic level of the sport and beyond.
Combining his passion for sailing and for filmmaking, Disney was a powerful voice for sailing, as well as a promoter. His documentary, “Morning Light,” which he co-produced with his wife Leslie DeMeuse-Disney, put a new spotlight on the sport of sailing.
“Sailing with Roy was like being adopted by a family,” said Stan Honey, board member of US Sailing, in a statement. “He got so much out of his crew, because his loyalty was astounding. ”

Iran releases British sailors
Never has staying on course meant more to a racing yacht than to Sail Bahrain’s crew.
The crew was stopped by an Iranian navy vessel before the start of the Dubai-Muscat Offshore Race after a propeller failed; the boat may have drifted from United Arab Emirates waters to Iranian waters, according to Andrew Pindar OBE, chairman of Sail Bahrain. The crew was being taken and held on suspicion of espionage.
While the incident was ongoing, he said “Our thoughts are very much focused on the safe return of the crew and in supporting the families who await their return. The Team Pindar crew members on board are a close-knit group who are all qualified sailors and have extensive experience on board racing yachts.”
The sailors were later released by Iranian authorities. “It has been an extremely worrying time for all of us and particularly for the families and loved ones of those on board,” Pindar says.
He says the sailors, with skipper Olly Smith, were in good spirits throughout the ordeal and were treated well by Iranian officials.

This article originally appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Home Waters Sercion of the February 2010 issue.