Solo Round-the-World Race Winner Sweeps All Five Legs of the VELUX 5 OCEANS Relying on High-Tech Systems for Quick, Reliable Information
Tulsa, Okla. - U.S. sailor Brad Van Liew, using electronics from B&G and Simrad Yachting, won the VELUX 5 OCEANS 2010-2011, 30,000-mile, solo race around the world, leading all five legs of the competition.
On May 27, 2011, Van Liew sailed his 60-foot yacht across the finish line, completing the final 3,600-mile sprint from his hometown of Charleston, S.C. to La Rochelle, France in only 12 days, 23 hours and 52 minutes, covering 3,809 miles at an average speed of 12.21 knots. Solo sailing and the intense competitive nature of solo ocean races force one to rely on automated systems that fulfill some of the crucial tasks of a traditional crew. Confident in his superior marine electronics network of autopilot, instrumentation and navigation equipment, Van Liew relied on systems from B&G and Simrad Yachting to not only keep him safe, but also lend a competitive advantage that resulted in his first-place, record-breaking finish.
"Over the past nine months, the performance and reliability of my electronics were positively invaluable," said Van Liew. "The race is a constant challenge of both the body and the mind, and when I couldn't be at the helm, my electronics suite was. B&G's autopilots and instruments stepped in as a reliable, high-performance driver, while my B&G Deckman software, Simrad NSE chartplotter and radar helped me make the key tactical decisions necessary to be safe on the water and win this incredible race."
Being alone at sea for the better part of nine months in some of the most brutal conditions on earth requires high performance, reliable electronics. During the race, Van Liew filled the role of driver, tactician, navigator, trimmer and bowman - not to mention medic, cook and communicator. B&G Pilots are world-renowned for their performance and reliability, which Van Liew acknowledged as key factors in blasting through the volatile Southern Ocean and navigating the more grueling areas of the racecourse. The latest B&G gear boasts exceptional display technology, ease-of-use and durability. B&G's Deckman, the world's most advanced tactical navigation software, also assisted Van Liew in making critical decisions about race strategy and the proper course to choose on each of the five intense ocean sprints.
"We are thrilled to congratulate Brad on his historic win," said Louis Chemi, chief operating officer of Navico Americas. "We are tremendously proud that such a skilled competitor recognized the unparalleled performance of electronics and navigational software from B&G and Simrad Yachting, and that he chose them to help put him in a position to win."
The VELUX 5 OCEANS race began October 17, 2011 in La Rochelle, France and included five ocean sprints to Cape Town, South Africa; Wellington, New Zealand; Punta del Este, Uruguay; and Charleston, South Carolina. Five skippers from five countries competed in the race known as the Ultimate Solo Challenge. Van Liew's victory marks his second VELUX 5 OCEANS win, each time sweeping every leg of the race. He is the only person in the race's 29-year history to make two clean sweeps. Completing the race also makes him the first American to ever officially finish three solo races around the globe.
For more information on B&G and Simrad Yachting, call toll-free 800-628-4487 in the USA or 800-661-3983 in Canada, or visit our websites at www.simrad-yachting.com and www.bandg.com.
For imagery and other editorial requests, please contact:
Rushton Gregory Communications
About B&G: The B&G brand is wholly owned by Navico, Inc., a privately held, international marine electronics company. Navico is currently the world's largest marine electronics company, and is the parent company to leading marine electronics brands: Lowrance, Simrad Yachting and B&G. Navico has approximately 1,500 employees globally and distribution in more than 100 countries worldwide. www.navico.com
About Simrad Yachting: The Simrad Yachting brand is wholly owned by Navico, Inc., a privately held, international marine electronics company. Navico is currently the world's largest marine electronics company, and is the parent company to leading marine electronics brands: Lowrance, Simrad Yachting and B&G. Navico has approximately 1,500 employees globally and distribution in more than 100 countries worldwide. www.navico.com
About Brad Van Liew: Brad Van Liew has a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. His entrepreneurial spirit has seen him through successful business endeavors in both aviation and sailing. As a professional sailor, Van Liew completed two solo circumnavigations, taking 3rd place as an underdog entrant in the 1998-99 Around Alone race, and claiming victory in the 2002-03 edition of the same event aboard Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America. He broke a world record in 2003 by covering 345 miles in one day aboard his 50-foot monohull. Van Liew has been awarded an array of honors including a US Navy Seamanship Award. www.oceanracing.org