Anarchist Brad Van Liew was on hand for the start of the final leg of the Portimao Global Ocean Race in Charleston, SC, where Event Director Josh Hall placed the starting line just a few yards from the downtown piers of the tourist-filled maritime museum. Spectators watched the four colorful Class 40s take off into the teeth of a thunderstorm, which promptly sucked all the breeze out of the air.
“They almost drifted into the jetty, but they were all able to get out of the harbor, where 15 knots from the SE launched them on their way Northward,” the Around Alone winner told us. “These boats are really cool, and really well matched – we followed them up the coast for about an hour, and they were still all within about 20 yards of each other.”
Rumor had it that originally, the entrants weren’t that excited about the Charleston stopover. With no American entries, there was no real reason to stop in the US. But Charleston showed her true colors to yet another group of sailors, and by the end of the stopover, they’d all said that it was the best stop they’d had. “There’s just nothing like Charleston hospitality,” Van Liew said. Combined with the kind of facilities that allowed Michel Kleinjans to do the extensive carbon repair work he needed and great marinas, the stop was a real success for the event.”
Track the fleet here, and take a look at this highlight reel from leg 4 of the PGOR – and don’t forget to check out Mr. Clean’s on board video and interviews with the Beluga Racer team here.