Brad Van Liew
Growing up in San Diego, California, Brad was a true “water baby” who was immersed in the boating world very early. He spent many summers on racing sailboats in Newport Rhode Island, and was just 13 years of age when he participated in his first Newport to Bermuda Race.
While attending the University of Southern California, he decided he wanted to work towards a dream of racing a sailboat solo around the world. Whilst taking steps toward that goal, he graduated from college, became a flight instructor, and founded an aircraft charter company based in Santa Monica, California. In 1998, his dream of racing around the world single-handed finally brought him to Charleston for the 1998 “Around Alone” race, in which he placed 3rd in his class aboard a 50’ yacht, “Balance Bar”, named after his primary sponsor.
Brad’s place in history as one of the United States’ most decorated solo sailors was not yet obvious, but after leaving his charter company behind and fully committing to the European-dominated sport of singlehanded distance racing, it started to materialize. With Tommy Hilfiger at his side as title sponsor and countless other brands offering support, he continued training and racing. After winning 2 around the world races in 2002 and 2010, his dominance was unrivaled. He then settled down (if it could be called that) to navigate aboard a crewed record-setting program sponsored by Maserati. Brad then rounded out his professional sailing career by acquiring records to include a still standing Columbus’ Route record.
Brad now enjoys spending time at his home on John’s Island with his family, and continues his water born dreams in a much more sedate fashion with family and friends whenever possible. Brad now assists clients with real estate and yacht sales in an effort to share two of his life’s favorite discoveries: Charleston and boats!