The Black Pearl is off. Following a very busy day…loading provisions for 2000 miles, a press conference, and a christening, we are now out in the middle of the English Channel on the way to the northwest corner of France.

The Christening went well with Lady Gabriela Winsor doing the honors and much to everyones pleasure, crushing the bottle on the first swing. We left imediately following the ceremony, doing a few “fly-bys” for some of our guests, who followed us out into the Southampton water for a few miles.

Once we got out, I had a little meeting to thank the crew for their part in getting the boat to this stage this quickly. Then we had a short saftey briefing by the Minister of Health and Safety, Justin Clougher. Then Freddy Loof, fresh from the Etchell World Championship in San Francisco yesterday cooked up our first meal…Pasta Bolognese by Dry Tech. Jerry Kirby ad I were commentting on how much better the food tasted than 8 years ago. After dinner, I brought a few treats that Kimo Worthington organized for us today, brownies an cookies, not normal fare on the round the world race but very nice for this special occasion! It is very light wind tonight so I decided to run a small crew on deck and get everyone some extra sleep. I will have to amend this behavior soon or this crew will get the wrong idea about me.

The big push to get the boat ready for the 2000 mile qualifiction passage (reqired by the Volvo Ocean Race rules) has really jump started this campaign. Just a week ago we launched the boat and complete the roll over test. We sailed two days later for the first time and now we are fully loaded and heading out to sea for what will be about a week or 8 days of sailing and getting to know the boat.

These boats are fairly complex with the canting keel mechanism, which is primarily hydraulic, dagger boards, plus all thte regular systems like generators, water makers, main engine, electornics, navigation equipment, navigation and routing software, peformance software, radar, and a few others. The goal of this 2000 mile sail is to test all these systems make adustments that we can while we are ouut here and undobtedly return to the dock with a long list of things to fix and work on. We also have or sail designer onboard, Steve Calder, so we will be looking at the sizing and shape of or first sail inventory and trying to decide on modifications for them. We have a sewing machine onboard and can make small adjustments even out here on the boat.

Meanwhile, our shoreteam led by Kimo Worthington and Curt Oetking, will be setting up camp in Sanxenxo, Spain so that when we arrive there next Monday or Tuesday we are fully operational. The shore team has done an incredible job of getting the boat finished, all logistics set up, containers fitted out, shipping and trucking organized, housing sorted, offices set up, networks set up, and a number of other tasks. It is truly impressive what goes into organiizing these campaigns. The logistics are complicated because of all the constant moving of venues. We on the crew could not possibly do this race without a great shore team supporting everything we do.

Well, that’s about it for my inagural email from onboard the Black Pearl. Many more to follow.

(Southampton, England) September 12, 2005 — The Black Pearl, official entry in the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s premier round the world race for mono-hull sailboats, was christened today at Maritime Walk, Ocean Village in Southampton, England. The event was hosted by Robert Mitchell, Managing Director, Buena Vista International UK, and Skipper of The Black Pearl, Paul Cayard.

The Black Pearl entry is part of a unique marketing partnership between The Walt Disney Company and Volvo Ocean Race supporting the July 2006 feature film release of Walt Disney Pictures’/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

“This is an exciting moment as we embark upon uniting the exhilaration of a world class sporting event with what will certainly be one of the most anticipated films of next year, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” commented Mitchell. “There will be plenty of high seas adventures both on screen and off for the next ten months.”

The Black Pearl is a Volvo 70 class yacht and one of seven entries in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06, which begins in Vigo, Spain in November of this year and ends in Gothenburg, Sweden in June 2006.

Skippering The Black Pearl is renowned sailor, Paul Cayard, the first American skipper to win the race in 1998. He has returned with the energy, determination and sheer passion of the sport to lead his highly experienced and competitive Pirates of the Caribbean team around the globe with stops in 10 of the world’s most exotic locales.

Said Mitchell, “We are thrilled that Paul Cayard will be our very own modern day

No wind this weekend so we kept working on the list. Plenty to do. These boats are complex and there are a lot of systems that need sorting out. Everyone has been pulling long hours trying to make up for our late start with the project.

Monday we will have the christening of the Black Pearl at Ocean Village. This will mark the culmination of five fast paced months to pull this program together and get the boat into the water. Disney is hosting the event so it should be a good show. We are hoping to head off on our 2000 mile qualfication sail right after the christening Monday evening. We have been organizing everything from the food, clothes, canting keel machinery, generator, water maker, head, and media station not to mention normal things like sails and running rigging.

We have been lucky with the weather here. No rain in the last two weeks which is great for working outside. Also, we are growing in numbers each day. Today Rodney Adern arrived from Alinghi along with Carol Nicolau, and tomorrow Jerry Kriby arrives from the USA.

All going well.

Another big day for the Black Pearl. She went for her maiden voyage and all went well. It was a beautiful, sunny, 12 knots day on the Solent and we got through about 5 different sails, ran the keel system, tuned the rig, and run other various checks. We had all the experts of the various departments onboard plus the crew. It doesn’t take long to realize these boats are going to be a handful. Further, the size of the sails makes for heavy work everywhere weather you are getting them up and down or grinding them in.

Where are the other 7 guys?

The boat sails effortlessly, not creating a big wake as you would imagine for a 14 ton-70 foot long boat.

Definitely generated a work list today. The forecast for the week is gradually increasing wind which is just perfect for us to build our

confidence day by day in the boat. I think we will have a work day tomorrow and then sail again Friday. Supposed to be raining and windy on Friday.

We had a huge day yesterday and a good one today.

Yesterday, Monday September 5th, we executed the “roll over” test as required by the VOR 70 class rule. Each boat must demonstrate that it is

capable of righting itself from a fully inverted positon. So we used a crane to roll the boat over by tying a strap onto the bulb and simply lifting the boat by its keel. Once upside down, we canted the keel manually about 6 degrees, and she righted herself. The rule requires that the Person in Charge, and two other crewmembers be inside while the roll is performed. So I was in there with Juggy and Nigel. It was an interesting experience. Very dark inside a carbon boat that is upside down.

Next big event of the day was to step the mast. This went perfectly. Everything fit, the lengths were just right. Craig Satterthwaite, our project manager for the mast and boom has done a great job of coordinating all that with Hall Spars Holland who also did a greatjob of deleivering what they said they would when they said they would. So that was another huge step forward without any glitches.

And the final piece of good news of September 5th was the Dirk De Ridder and his wife happily welcomed into this world their second daughter. Here is an excerpt from his email:


Last night at 3:55 am our second daughter was born. She is 50 cm and weighs 3110gr and is healthy. Helena did a great job and evrything is fine with here as well. Here name is Anne Marieke de Ridder and we call her Marieke.

Later, Dirk

Today’s goal was to get the boat ready to go for its first sail tomorrow. This meant getting all the machinery working…main engine, generator, get the hydraulic keel mechanism full working, tune the rig, running rigging set, tune up the winches, check the sails, etc. A big day and we are still here at 20:00.

Tomorrow we plan to dock out at 12:00. Forecast is 10 kntos from the SSW.

Perfect conditions for a first sail. The Pearl is coming alive.

<< Faire rêver les gens>>

PAUL CAYARD, skipper du team américain Pirates des Caraíbes, revient sur son engagement dans cette course autour du monde, qu’il a déjà gagnée en 97-98.

CINQ PARTICIPATIONS à la Coupe de l’America, sept titres de champion du monde, une victoire dans l’édition de cette même course en 1997-98, qu’est-ce qui vous pousse à repartir autour de la planète ?

– J’y retourne pour deux raisons. D’abord, ma victoire en 1998 dans la Whitbread (ancienne appellation de la Volvo Ocean Race) sur EF Language reste l’un des meilleurs souvenirs de ma carrière. Je suis un homme d’équipe, j’aime affronter les difficultés et partager les succès avec les autres. On trouve tous ces ingrédients dans la Volvo Ocean Race. Et j’ajouterais même que la dureté de cette course rend la victoire encore plus valorisante. Ensuite, je trouve que le partenariat entre Volvo et Walt Disney est une belle idée. Un bateau aux couleurs du film Pirates des Caraíbes,