Unsurprisingly, given that there are just 65 days to go to the start, Cayard’s team is highly experienced. “For this campaign, it was important to start with an experienced group,” said Cayard. “We are the last team to hit the water so we don’t have a lot of time to train. We will be counting on experience to help make up ground on all the other teams”.
Cayard’s squad represents seven countries and contains four past winners of this race. Two of the crew, Rodney Ardern and Curtis Blewett, have prior commitments to the America’s Cup.
The selected crew are: Paul Cayard, Skipper; Julian ‘Jules’ Salter, Navigator; Freddie Loof, Watch Captain; Rodney Ardern, Watch Captain; Dirk de Ridder, Trimmer and Helmsman; Nigel King, Trimmer and Helmsman; Craig Satterthwaite, Trimmer and Helmsman; Justin Ferris, Bowman, Trimmer and Helmsman; Curtis Blewett, Bowman; Jerry Kirby, Bowman; and Justin ‘Juggy’ Clougher, Bowman.
Cumulatively, The Pirates of the Caribbean have enjoyed the kind of success that is rare in the Volvo Ocean Race. That success includes 12 campaigns between them and four wins – Paul Cayard, Curtis Blewett, Dirk De Ridder and Justin ‘Juggy’ Clougher. Rodney Ardern is also a veteran who has participated three times in this race. Additionally, the team has participated in 20 America’s Cup campaigns and won three – Curtis Blewett, Rodney Ardern and Jerry Kirby – as well as three Louis Vuitton Cup wins. Paul Cayard and Jerry Kirby, both of the USA, have each participated five times in the America’s Cup. Between them, the 11 Pirates have also taken part in six Olympic Games in different classes, including a bronze medal win for Freddy Loof, in the Sydney 2000 Games in the single handed Finn. Truly a talented bunch of Bucaneers.
Rodney Ardern and Curtis Blewett will be racing three legs (Vigo to Cape Town, Cape Town to Melbourne and Melbourne to Rio) as they are contracted to Alinghi in the America’s Cup. Curtis Blewett will be replaced by Jerry Kirby. The replacement for Ardern has not been finalized yet. Vend