Van Liew returns to Charleston aboard a Maserati racing yacht

Brad Van Liew, pictured left, and Giovanni Soldini, pictured right, returned to Charleston Wednesday from the Bahamas. (Dave MacQueen/WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Brad Van Liew is still breaking records. He's joined forces with other world renowned sailors and returned Wednesday from his latest adventure crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Van Liew and the crew aboard the 70-foot Maserati racing yacht docked at the Seabreeze Marina along the Cooper River Wednesday afternoon.

"We left Cadiz, Spain 14 days ago and were fortunately able to set a pretty good record to the Bahamas in San Salvador," Van Liew said.

The route follows Christopher Columbus' Route of Discovery in 1492. The crew set a record for completing the route in ten days, according to Van Liew.

"We talked about it. It was cool. Imagine taking 70 days to do this and imagine not knowing if you would fall of the end of the earth and thinking about what did that little tiny island which is as low lying as the Lowcountry coming out of the horizon feel like?" Van Liew said.

He sailed along with Italian sailor Giovanni Soldini who has spent the last 18 years sailing, twice around the world solo.

"It's not an easy course, but we did it in a nice time," Soldini said. "We were pretty lucky. We caught very good wind. It was very fast."

The crew isn't even close to finished setting records. Next, they'll set sail to the gulf stream for a record setting attempt, according to Van Liew. Then, they'll return to Charleston before heading to Miami where they'll attempt a record sail to New York City. The most prestigious, according to Van Liew, comes next when they are expected to head from New York City to England.

Van Liew joined the team following his winning the Velux 5 Oceans 2010-11 race.

"It's been a really tough eight months since the finish of the last race. We weren't able to find the title sponsorship we needed and it's been very difficult but the best thing for me to do is keeping doing what I do and try to work out all the issues as we go," Van Liew said.

The sailor says he's enjoyed working with the team, who many of the members he's known or sailed with in the past.

As for his next world racing record, Van Liew says he has no plans to enter the same race he won last year, but says other world races have his interest.

"This stuff beats me up pretty hard and I just need to do one project at a time," Van Liew said.

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