Dock Talk

Van Liew Expands Lead with Second Leg Win in Velux 5 Oceans

American solo ocean racer Brad Van Liew made it two wins from two ocean sprints as he sailed into Wellington, New Zealand on Sunday to claim victory in the second sprint of the VELUX 5 OCEANS solo round the world yacht race. For the 42-year-old from Charleston, South Carolina, this brought to an end a gruelling month-long slog through the Southern Ocean from Cape Town in South Africa alone on his Eco 60 yacht Le Pingouin.

During the leg–the second of five that make up the VELUX 5 OCEANS–Brad sailed 7,682 nautical miles in 30 days, nine hours and 49 minutes at an average speed of 10.53 knots. His win earns him the maximum 12 points and places him firmly at the top of the VELUX 5 OCEANS leaderboard after two ocean sprints.

With 40-knot winds whipping through Wellington Harbour, Brad blasted across the finish line on Le Pingouin as the sun rose over the city. Cheers went up from the waiting crowds as Brad docked alongside Queens Wharf in the heart of the city. First in line to welcome the victorious skipper were his wife Meaghan and children Tate, 8, and Wyatt, 6.

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RI Governor Commits Funds for Upgrades to Host Cup Pre-Races

RI Gov. Lincoln Chafee says the state will help pay for infrastructure improvements needed so Newport can host sailing races that lead up to the America’s Cup finals. The “pre-regattas” are planned for Newport and locations around the world before the final races in 2013 in San Francisco. In Newport, Oracle Racing is planning races in the east passage of Narragansett Bay between September 17th and 25th. Last Friday, Chafee toured Fort Adams State Park and told The Newport Daily News that the state will do its part to pay for upgrades needed to host the races there.

“I’m big on creating infrastructure,” he said. “It’s the role of government.” Chafee said improvements at Fort Adams would pay for themselves by making future events possible there, and also by giving the park more visibility. “Everyone who comes to Fort Adams says how beautiful it is. Anything that can open up this historic asset to more people is a big plus.”

Among the improvements needed: new docks along the waterfront, two cranes to hoist the catamarans in and out of the water, a barge for additional docking space and a long pier to protect the docking areas. State funding is available for capital improvements to state parks, and the Department of Environmental Management has money to repave roads in state parks, said Paul Harden, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s manager of business and workforce development. Oracle and racing organizers will pay for items such as the cranes. “We think some federal funding also may be available,” Harden said.

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