Così batteremo il meteo e l’Oceano – L’ultima sfida dei miti della vela: Soldini nella Jacques Vabre, Cayard nella Volvo Race

LA STORIA / Nel weekend salpano una transatlantica in coppia è il giro del mondo. Con il rischio di previsioni sempre più difficili da leggere

Quando il gioco si fa duro, quando l’inverno arriccia il mare è gonfia le nuvole, quando il cielo diventa grigio e la vela trendy della Coppa America se ne va in letargo, riecco le grandi regate oceaniche. Sono due è partono nel week-end: da Le Havre (Francia) a Salvador de Bahia (Brasile) la Transat Jacques Vabre, transatlantica in coppia che s’infila nella Manica, attraversa l’Equatore e si tuffa, spinta dagli Alisei, verso il Brasile, lungo la rotta (al contrario) che una volta seguivano i bastimenti carichi di caffè; da Vigo (Spagna) a Göteborg (Svezia) la Volvo Race, il giro del mondo in equipaggio con scali, sette mesi è 31 mila miglia di onde e vento toccando tre Capi (Buona Speranza, Leeuwin e Horn) e solcando tutti gli Oceani. È la vela degli avventurieri, dei lupi di mare che hanno scritto la storia della navigazione, dei marinai che guardano con un po’ di scetticismo agli agi è ai budget faraonici dell’America’s Cup. Nel programma della Transat e della Volvo Race non è prevista doccia calda a fine giornata, ci sono brande essenziali al posto dei letti e porzioni di cibo liofilizzato invece del ristorante. Con, in più, l’incognita di un meteo sempre più difficile da leggere è interpretare. Gli sconvolgimenti atmosferici del pianeta ormai rendono le previsioni un azzardo. Una cosa è affrontare un temporalone tra le boe, con la terra in vista, un’altra infilarsi in un uragano quando l’essere vivente pi

The Children of Vigo

Today we did a really nice thing with Disney and Pescanova for the children of Vigo.

Pescanova, the Spanish fish company that had an entry in the 1993 Whitbread Round the World Race, organized a special day for the children of Vigo at their shipyard today. 500 children were invited to come and meet the Pirates of the Caribbean and see the Black Pearl. At 12:00 local time, the Black Pearl sailed into Punto Lagoa Marina with a salute of six cannons and multiple fireworks. The 500 children were all seated in a large, covered, tribune. The Pearl slipped into her dock to the tune from the “Curse of he Black Pearl”, and the cheers of the children. The crew was met at the dock by the mayor of Vigo Corina Porro, Manuel Fernandez Souza – CEO of Pescanova and his wife and Santiago Dominguez – General Director of Sport in the region of Galicia and Abel Cabaolero – President of the Port of Vigo.

As the Pirates walked up the gang way, the Spanish bagpipes were playing. The Pirates shook hands with all the young fans and proceeded to “take the Marina” by hoisting their flag on the highest mast in the port.

Next everyone proceeded into a shed, in fact the exact shed where the Pearl was refit last week, which was now completely done up as a conference hall. Mega screens, large stage, black drapes, and Pirates of the Caribbean flags hung everywhere. The children were dressed in special wet weather gear and hats supplied by Pescanova.

A few speeches were made, namely the mayor stating how proud they were to be the host city for the Start of the 2005 Volvo Ocean Race and how the city and the children would follow the Black Pearl all the way and “be with us” in their hearts.

A few trailers from the upcoming “Dead Man’s Chest” were shown which the kids loved.

Next the Pirates took the stage. First lesson of the day…an English lesson…”It’s good to be a Pirate!”. Repeat after me…I had the kids chanting; “It’s good to be a Pirate!”. Then we gave them a video of life onboard, followed by a little geography; illustrating the course around the world and the various ports of call and the big capes that we round. Finally, Juggy, our Tazmanian Pirate, came out on stage all geared up in Southern Ocean garb and disrobed so that everyone could appreciate how much gear we have to wear down south.

We took a few questions from the floor. The kids were very enthusiastic and genuine in their interest. As much as the day was meant for the kids, I have to say, it was a great day for us. We were all touched by how interested and excited these kids were to see us. These children were well behaved, very attentive and appreciative…just beautiful to see young kids like that.

Thank you to the children of Vigo. You are all officially Pirates. Come and see us on the 12th of November!

Captain Paul

Pirates of the Caribbean

Learning to Sail all over again.

It has been a while since I got into a class of boat where handling it around the bouys was a complete learning experience. The VOR 70 is all new to me and to all the Pirates. Not often do Olympic medalists, America’s cup winners, past Volvo Ocean Race winners, find them on a boat where they have to learn how to handle the boat from scratch.

Today we trained by sailing windward leward legs on a 3 mile course which is the legnth of the legs for the inport race we will do in 2 weeks time. On this, relitively compressed playing field, Handling these 70 footers, with 5000 square foot spinnakers, runners, canards that go up and down and canting the keel is a real handful for those who know what they are doing. For those of us still trying to fingure out what to do, it is even more of a challenge.

The wind was slow to get started today but finally filled around 13:30. The Spanish boat had given up on the day and went in. We stayed out and were treated to a beautiful day with the wind peaking at 12 knots and generally around 10 knots. It was a seabreeze from 220 and fairly steady and a beautiful sunny day.

We sailed three full laps trying different sets and drops, different tacking

and gybing techniques. To say that we are learning a lot each day out there would be an understatement. I think we are making some good progress but I could see doing this for 3 months and still improving with each new day.

Unfortunately, we can’t even train like this for the next two weeks. Tomorrow we have to measure the boat, Tuesday we are presenting the Pirates of the Caribbean to 500 school children of Vigoand WEdnesday are hosting some media with Disney in Baiona. Wednesday-Sunday we will not be sailing to get the jobs list down to a manageable number. Currently we have 178 itmes on our work list for the boat.

It is all good though; We are a happy team, the food is excellent thanks to Chef Rehana and his able assistant Jo, we are still sleeping in dry beds and we are having fun dealing with the challenge. Doesn’t get much better than that in life!

END PC POTC

We had 15 Guys From all Over the World, All Fantastic Pirates

Its been a while since I wrote a note. The team did a great job with all the work on the boat. We had 15 guys come in from all over the world and each and everyone of them was fantastic to have as part of Pirates. Thanks to everyone as they worked like champions and they are forever Pirates!

We have the Pearl back in the water and been sailing for the past three days. It is nice to get back out there and learning. We have been sailing alongside a couple of boats! First time was Wednesday with ABN. It was blowing about 30 and they had a special little jib and a nice set up on the main and the blew our doors off upwind. they turned and went back to the harbor first and we continued on upwind trying to sort out a few things with our rig set up. When we turned to go back the speed immediately went up to 25 kntos with just the jib and main. Then we put up the fractional kite….30 knots. ABN later told me they laid the boat down on the way in. We actually did too before putting up the kite. got the keel stuck on the wrong side in a gybe. Nothing too major. Just went head to wind on the new gybe, got things sorted with the electronic controls, canted, and ripped off at 25 again.

Today we lined up with Brasil and ABN again in 8 knots and things were much closer. There is a big difference in sails and one thing that is becoming very apparent is that sails make a big difference in speed in this class. Speed differences are in the knots, not tenths of knots!

The shore team worked non stop for 12 days and are thuroughly burned out. So they are getting a bit of a rest…sleeping in until 0700…things like that.

Tomorrow is a work day. We have a few small jobs to finish up so the boat is ready for measurement. We will try for the hull measuremnet on Sunday or Monday.

The days are very busy and it is hard to get a workout in. This morning we made a short one then Freddy tried to get me to go to the gym at 2100 after dinner but I was too beat. Freddy went by himself. That dude is an athlete.

We have a lot to learn and get sorted. Sailing these things with 10 people is not easy. Sails make a big difference. All this takes time to get right. We are late but that just means the challenge is great. We have a great group of people and that is the biggest asset and organization has.

END

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean

Code Name: Pimp My Ride

We are in the middle of a work week on the boat. The mast is down, the keel is off and the boat is in the shed. The later fact has been a great move as it has been raining a lot this week. Following the 2000 miler and the trip to Holland and back, we got enough time in the boat to know what things we wanted to change. We lined up 14 boat builders from around the world, rented a shed, got the parts lined up and hit it hard last Thursday. Code name for the project is “Pimp my ride”. Special edition T-Shirts are being made. The boat should come out of the shed this weekend and we will start sailing on Monday.

We have 15 outside contractors working on the boat this week plus our own shore team. We have four boat builders from Switzerland who work on Alinghi, we call them the Ski Team, we have four guys from Green Marine in the UK, we have 3 guys from the USA, and 5 painters from England. All these guys do is work, eat, work, sleep and work. Mark Rehana has been taking good care of them with the food. This is proving once again to be a big plus to have not just an inhouse cook but to have Mark Rehana and his able assistant, Jo. They are simply the best!

Three of our competitors are also working on their boats this week. Both ABN boats and Ericsson are out of the water. Brasil 1 arrived today from their training base in Portugal. Volvo event management is setting up the erace village near the club. Things are heating up in Sanxenxo.

Last weekend Disney Italy and I went to the Genoa Boat Show and presented the Pirates of the Caribbean and the Black Pearl to the Italian media. The conference was moderated by Guilio Guazini, the RIA commentator who covers sailing for them. RAI, has bought the rights to the Volvo Ocean Race for Italy. The Italian public are big fans of sailing and it seems there was a lot of interest in the Pirates of the Caribbean. We also announced our Italian Official Suppliers, Ermenegildo Zegna and Gottifredi Maffioli. Zegna is providing us with our formal attire and this continues a long relationship I have had with the high quality fashion house from Milan. Gottifredi Maffioli is number one in the world of ropes and high tech fibers for racing sailboats and there are making some custom ropes for us. Both are very enthusiastic and looking forward to a great partnership with Pirates.

On Friday, October 14, a big event is taking place in my home town and in fact in the St. Francis Yacht Club. The America’s Cup Hall of Fame will induct three new members; Fritz Jewett, Jack Sutphen and Alan Payne. Fritz Jewett was the Chairman of many successful America’s Cup campaigns over a 30 year time frame. Most noteably, the 1980 Freedom campaign and the 1987 Stars and Stripes campaign, both very defining campaigns for Dennis Conner. Coincidentally, Jack Sutphen also served a key role in those campaigns as trial horse helmsman. In 2000 , Fritz served as Chairman of my AmericaOne campaign. I am not sure if this induction is long over due but I am sure it is fully merited. Sport is full of winners but few are the winners who have integrity, live up to their commitments, maintain strong and positive leadership in times of adversity, possess genuine compassion for their team mates, all the while competing with the utmost intensity and commitment in the pursuit of the goal. Congratulations Fritz!

There isn’t much time left to the start of this big adventure. Measurement procedures start this Saturday with a draw to allocate the measurement slots. We are planning to do some more training next week, look at race sails, study the weather with our meteorologist, Jean Yves Bernot and eat and sleep. We have some madatory saftey courses to take, media training and a few hospitality events. For sure, no one is bored around here.

All is well in the Pirate family.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean

Maffioli to Supply Ropes to Pirates of the Caribbean Team

Gottifredi Maffioli is glad to announce its partnership with The Pirates of the Caribbean team and The Black Pearl, official entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005/2006. The Italian rope manufacturer will supply all the running rigging of The Black Pearl, the boat inspired by the blockbuster Walt Disney Pictures’/Jerry Bruckheimer Film, “Pirates of The Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl.” – This entry includes an experienced and talented crew led by renowned skipper Paul Cayard. The famous round the world race, starts next 5th November from Vigo (Spain).

Over the years Gottifredi Maffioli has been deeply involved in all the major racing events with the worlds most famous teams. Constant innovation and close partnership with both teams and suppliers have always been the key to succeed and it has enabled Gottifredi Maffioli to be first in introducing new materials and new rigging solutions. This is also proved to be the case for The Pirates of the Caribbean during the coming Volvo Ocean Race, as The Black Pearl will take advantage of a range of innovative products developed by Gottifredi Maffioli for the occasion.

Endurance is the key factor in a competition like the Volvo Ocean Race therefore it is not only important that these products are of the highest performance but also the highest longevity. In order to fulfil these expectations DSM Dyneema developed a new material in cooperation with Gottifredi Maffioli. “While keeping all the excellent qualities that made Dyneema® a premium choice for high performance running rigging the new Dyneema® SK 78 delivers a significantly better stability under static loads which results in better performance and longer life time under such extreme conditions” says Rolf Van Deeck business manager sports at Dyneema.

Thanks to the partnership with Gottifredi Maffioli, which strongly believes in the great potential of The Pirates of the Caribbean team, The Black Pearl will be the first ever boat to benefit of the new products based on this new material, which will certainly give a consistent contribution to the rigging performance.

Gottifredi Maffioli is an Italian ropes manufactures founded in 1926. Since the beginning of its activity, Gottifredi Maffioli has committed itself to offering its customers the best available material and productive technologies.

In 1954 Gottifredi Maffioli realized for the first time in history a climbing rope made of Nylon: a very important rope indeed, as it was used for the first expedition that conquered the K2, the most challenging and feared mountain in the world. Since then, the massive shape of K2 appears in the Gottifredi Maffioli logo to celebrate the success of that memorable expedition. In 1983, Gottifredi Maffioli moved its first step in the yachting world: providing the ropes of Azzurra, the first Italian team challenging the America’ Cup. From that time on Gottifredi Maffioli has become a world leader in the production of high quality yachting lines, supplying many of the worlds most celebrated boats.

Paul Cayard, Skipper of ‘The Black Pearl’ at the 45th Genoa Intl. Boat Show

Today Paul Cayard announced his latest sailing project as skipper of The Black Pearl, official entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 at Salone Nautico Internazionale in Genoa. He and his stellar team, The Pirates of the Caribbean, will race the 70 foot mono-hull yacht The Black Pearl around the world in the exhilarating Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 commencing in Vigo, Spain on November 5th, 2005.

Anticipation is high for the team, which includes international champions of extraordinary experience, and it signals Cayard