Van Liew's boat for around-the-world race launched

Van Liew

Brad Van Liew's campaign for a third solo sailboat race around the world is now afloat.

Literally.

On Tuesday morning, a Detyens Shipyard crane hoisted the 60-foot, 8.5-ton boat out of its cradle and set it down in the Cooper River.

The boat - now painted yellow, officially christened "Le Pingouin" - is almost ready for its trip across the Atlantic to France, where Van Liew is on of nine entrants in the Velux 5 Oceans Race that begins in October. That 30,000-mile solo sailboat race begins and ends in La Rochelle, with stops in South Africa, New Zealand, Brazil and Charleston before returning to France.

"We were ready to get it in the water," Van Liew said. "We've been working seven days a week and it's been a hot summer."

The boat has been re-fitted, now the hard work really begins. The crew will step the mast today and spend the rest of the week tuning the rigging.

Then there are sea trials and the 10-15 day trip across the Atlantic. The only time for any rest will come Sept. 2, when Team Lazarus hosts a Bon Voyage party at Seabreeze Marina.

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