‘Champagne sailing’ was what the Velux 5 Oceans committee called the conditions of the Atlantic Ocean after ocean sprint 4 began. After staying in Punta del Este, Uruguay, for nearly four weeks, the sailors left behind the cold, dour weather in the Southern Ocean for the bright lights of the South Atlantic.
While only forty miles separated the four skippers, it was again Brad Van Liew who emerged as the leader. Van Liew has won all three of the previous ocean sprints on this edition of the Velux 5 Oceans Race. Van Liew, who is from Charleston, USA, the destination port, will be especially determined to make his hometown proud.
However, just because the skippers are finally out of the Southern Ocean doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing from here on. On this 5,700 nautical mile sprint will see the skippers through the St. Helena High before they enter the doldrums once again. Once across the equator, though, they will enjoy the northeasterly trade winds that will allow for wonderful sailing into Charleston.