Charleston skipper Brad Van Liew is leading the Velux 5 Oceans fleet into the Southern Ocean.

The single-handed sailboat race re-started early Thursday with competitors sailing from Cape Town, South Africa en route to Wellington, New Zealand.

Van Liew, second across the start line, had a lead of one mile over the fleet after a few hours at sea - but there's still a long way to go (about 8,000 miles).

The start had been delayed since Sunday due to gale-force winds off the southern tip of Africa.

"It was not an easy decision to delay the start of the second ocean sprint of the Velux 5 Oceans, but it was taken to ensure the safety of our skippers and was supported by them," David Adams, the race director, said.

The fleet now sails into the Southern Ocean, the water at the bottom of the planet where the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans mix, and the water swirls around the planet unimpeded by land. The Roaring Forties and Screaming Fifties, as sailors call those latitudes, can be scary places to sail. There, waves as big as three-story buildings are not unusual, the wind is treacherous and sailors even have to be on the lookout for icebergs.

"The Southern Ocean is a place of mixed emotion for me," Van Liew told the Post and Courier. "Ninety percent of the time it is a great place to sail. Ten percent of the time it is absolutely horrific."

Read more in tomorrow's editions of The Post and Courier.