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.

Una barca giooello, una gara affascinante e pericolosa, il lancio del nuouo film della Disney. A 46 anni e dopd aver veleggiato in tutto il Mondo, Cayard si tuffa nell’ennesima avventura: il periplo del globo al timone della Perla Nera

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Hoy a las 14:30 horas volvía a ondear en la bahía de Sanxenxo la bandera del barco “Piratas del Caribe”, que regresaba desde Holanda para la presentación oficial de su campaña en la Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006. Las renovadas instalaciones del RCN de Sanxenxo se convertían en la base de operaciones de los piratas del barco norteamericano para su primera aparición en público ante los medios de comunicación.”

Paul Cayard, patr

Sanxenxo, Pontevedra

Foto: Salva Sas

Sanxenxo, Pontevedra

Another long day and I am writing this at 0530 on the 5th. We are now about 80 miles north of Sanxenxo. We did a lot of sail testing and polar definition work today. This is tedious work, sailing for 10 minutes at a given angle and recording the performance of the boat with a given sail. After you do all the appropriate angles in that windspeed for that sail, you put up another one and do some more. Easy to burn 6 hours doing it and of course you slow your progress to the barn as you sail off course. But it has to be done.

We had a bit of breeze from 2200 Tuesday to 0400 this morning.

The wind compressing at the north western corner of Spain got up to 28 knots and we were hitting 30 periodically and averaged 21 knots for four hours. Ripping along like that in total darkness…no moon tonight…is something that is impossible to explain. Inside the boat is so loud that no one was able to sleep.

Now the wind is droping and rotating to the north to follow the coast of Spain and this is slowing our progress. Could be a long last 80 miles.

I think we are all pretty tired. It has been another big push for 8 days. Sail up to Holland, work on the mast, get it in, and sail back. Testing and working all the way. That is close to another 2000 miles for the Pearl.

Our shore team is waiting for us tomorrow and the work list that we generated during the 2000 miler is going to get attacked. We wont sail for at least a week.

I think we are all looking forward to some good food from Chef Rehana and is supurb assistant Jo.

Long day today, yesterday now. We got some specific conditions that we were looking for to do some sail testing so we got into a full session this afternoon that finished at sunset or just after actually. I was beat and went to sleep.

Good progress with a couple of sails, though not toward Sanxenxo. In fact, as tough as it was to do we had to actually sail away from Sanxenxo for 6 hours to get this testing done. But we did it and it is “in the can” as they say in Burbank. Now, 0115 locAL time Tuesday, the wind has shut off here in the northwest corner of France and we are motoring at 7 knots. These boats are fast but not under motor.

We should get and easterbreeze up to 15 knots later today in the Bay of Biscay that should get us going 18 knots down the track again.

All is well aboard the Pearl. Smooth sea, clear sky, and we are inside (south east) of the shipping lane so no major swerving for traffic.

We are off again, heading down the English Channel at 20 knots. Seems like these boat like to go 20. They get there fairly effortlessly. Going 20 on a reach means getting soaked through do there we were, one hour out of town and getting the full firehose, getting us nice and damp for the remainder of the trip.

The forecast is for northerly winds 15-20 knots tonight then going NE and diminishing tomorrow. Tuesday should have easterly 15 knots as we go through the Bay of Biscay. So we should make good time today, tonight, then slow tomorrow and good speed again on Tuesday. We should arrive Wednesday morning in Sanxenxo.

We only got a 30 minute sail with our new mast last night but all was working well. We took about 10 locals who had been watching us work on the boat all day, along for the sail. They all got a thrill out of that and it was our way of saying thanks for the Dutch hospitality over the three days.

Freddy and I were invited to an old friends home last night. Boudwin Binkhorst who represented Holland in a few Olympics and his crew Ko Vandenberg came down to the boat earlier in the day to say hi. Binkhorst was second in the Finn Gold Cup in the 70’s then sailed the Star for many years. He was an innovator in the Star class building the first double bottom, self bailing boat in the early 80’s. We had a very nice fish dinner at his home in Breskens. It is amazing how you can go to the most out of the way place and meet some guys who you knew 20 years ago.

This morning we did a bit more tuning of the mast and waterproofing of the deck around the mast before shoving off at 1000.

All is well aboard and I think everyone is looking forward to getting to Sanxenxo and staying put for a while. We have quite a long list of little things we want to do to the Pearl now that we know what it is to sail these types of boats so we will not be sailing for a week or so starting Wednesday.

That’s it for today.


We have been here in Breskens two days. Hotel Scaldis has been a bit warmer and dryer than the pipe berths onboard and the food and washing machine aren’t bad either. We got Rig 1 out yesterday and Rig 2 in today. Last night we were hosted at the local yacht club here by Jos van den Heuvel of Hall Spars and his team. They have done a fantastic job with our rigs and been great to work with. I visited their facility this morning and it was like a laboratory. Very clean, well insulated, dust free air system in the laminating shed, 38 meter autoclave.

Dinner was a bit of an affair as today there was the biggest race of the year in the area…250 boat racing from Breskens 40 miles up the river to Antwerp. As you would expect, there was a bit of drinking amongst the 1000 people packed into the yacht club. Most of our gang left around 2030 as sleep is as pleasurable as eating ice cream to us.

This morning when we arrived at the pearl, we noticed a new addition to the equipement on the yacht. The following email explains the efforts of some “wannabe pirates”;

From: Linda & Roeland Vroon []

Sent: 01 October 2005 10:10


Subject: Act of piracy in Breskens

Importance: High

Dear Capt’n Paul Sparrow,

A grave act of piracy has been discovered in Breskens this morning.

Last night a gang of renegades has obducted the blow-up parrot form the flybridge of motoryacht “Pastime” and perched it on the com. bracket at the back of “the black pearl”.

You may understand the the owners wife is very attached to her parrot so we could not stand idly by and watch this crime go unpunished.

We were succesfull in defeating the culprits and liberate the poor animal. He will be “deflated” for quite some time.

The owner is on a bountyhunt in St. Tropez at the moment but he told me to hang the guilty when the sun is over the yardarm, so if you’re a couple short on your return to your Spain you know what happened.

Good luck with your Volvo campaign.

Capt’n Roeland Vroon

m/y “Pastime”


This morning, Captain Vroon came down to the Pearl and met Freddy Loof and Nigel King and collected his blow up parrot….Unfortunately before we could get a picture of it. I have indeed checked into the “act”, and I am must report that none of my Pirates were responsible. As near as we can tell, this act was perpetrated by local Dutch Pirates. The locals must have felt that the Parrot would actually prefer to live onboard the Pearl. As Captain Vroon’s email indicates, the act was “in the spirit” and this humorous act was appreciated by all in the harbor.

My reply to Captain Vroon;

Captain Vroon, I must report that none of my Pirates were responsible for the relocation of your Parrot. I appreciate the tone of your email and will use it in my daily report. Please check it out on line at

By the way, please feel free to come by for a visit of the Pearl. We may be able to find a bit of swag for you.

Captain Paul

I kind of like the idea of a Parrot… a real one though. I might take that onboard. Why have a yard dog? Everyone has one of those. Kimo, look into quarantine laws on the lap.

We are gearing up for our first sail with the new rig tonight and if all goes well we’ll head back to Sanxenxo tomorrow.

Captain Paul