The Black Pearl arrived in Cape Town yesterday, November 27 after an uneventful flight on the Antonov 124. She was then transported to “Pirate City”, in the harbor area, which will be our base of operations for the next four weeks. We again want to thank our partner Pescanova for their generous and useful support to the team by making the flight to Cape Town possible.

The shore team is arriving in Cape Town this week after getting a well deserved week off. Basically they had gone hard since early August without a break. The crew is taking this week off and will arrive in Cape Town December 7th. The goals of this week are for the shore team to install the new wedges and bomber doors for the keel and finish up a few other jobs on the boat. The plan is to be sailing by the 10th and then go offshore on the 12th for a few days of ocean sailing and sea trialing to make sure all is well with the repairs. Leg 2 will be one of the most demanding of the race for both the boat and the crew physically. I don

After properly inspecting the Black Pearl, we are now in a position to report on the damage.

1. Bulkhead C, midway from the bow to the mast, has broken. There was shearing of the frame along with compression of the – vertical beam.

2. The “bomber doors” which seal the Keel box at the hull, have been ripped off.

3. A bolt that holds the keel pins in has sheared

That is the main damage. We also had a complete instrument blackout earlier on Saturday night. This included our computers and therefore I could not write any text so the information coming off our boat may have appeared slow or non existent. I was in telephone communication with race officials.

My priority on Sunday was to get the boat back to land safely. This was not easy as we were caught in a low pressure cell that had formed off the coast of Portugal and we experienced gusts of 50 knots and very rough seas. We sailed with Storm jib and Trisail all day Sunday and Sunday night and at times had to lower the storm jib as there was too much sail area up. It was the windiest and roughest conditions I have been in at least 8 years. As our true wind angle was about 80 degrees, we had breaking waves crashing on the deck at times.

The reason why I don’t want to sail the boat to Cape Town is that it is unsafe to sail without the “bomber doors”. To explain; The keel cants 40 degrees each side of center. The axis of this rotation is 150mm up inside the boat. Therefore there is a hole in the bottom of these boats that is about 400mm (1.5 ft) wide. This hole is the bottom of the keel box which is “recessed” into the boat. The Bomber doors not only make the hull fair as the keel swings from side to side, but they protect the inside of the keel box from high pressure water force. Without them the lid to the keel box and the rubber gaskets that seal the hydraulic ram arms, which actuate the swinging of the keel, are exposed to high pressure water. When we discovered the situation early Sunday morning, the lid to the box was bulging upward and strained the fasteners while water was squirting into the boat due to the 35 knots of water pressure and the rams seals were buldging like cows’ utters. Not one to withdraw from racing easily, in this case, I immediately called for the crew to take all sails down and slow the boat to less than 10 knots.

So this particular damage is not one that can be bandaided. New parts have to be made in the UK and flown to us. This will take over a week. Then they have to be fitted which will take 3-4 days to do well. We might be able to do this and then sail to Cape Town but we would arrive just before the inport race on the 26th, if all went well. If we had another issue along the way we could well miss Leg 2. And why? To gather 2 points?

I have decided not to pursue that option but rather to transport the boat to Cape Town and rejoin the race in an organized and prepared manner. I need to turn this negative into a positive. With my team, we believe we have devised a plan to do that.

The boat will stay here in Portugal until the 25th when it will go by aircargo to Cape Town. We will be working on the boat in the time before it flies and the time after it arrives. We hope to sail again around Decemeber12th for a few days of sea trials offshore.



Pirates of the Caribbeans of the Caribbean

We have now been in port for 36 hours. I know there are a lot of stories, rumors and thoughts going on around the water cooler so I thought I would give you my perspective to add to your daily conversation. A couple of facts first:

1. This is a race on points not time. This is not the Tour de France. This is more similar to the Formula 1 season where over 16 races, Michael Schumacher may not even finish 3 or 4 of the 16 races and yet still win the World Championship. There are 23 “events” in this race ranging in points value from 3.5 to 7. The maximum number of points available to be won is 112.

2. These new Volvo 70’s are high tech machines. They are going to break down. Breaking down is not new to Round the World Racing. We are all learning about what it takes to keep these things together.

3. We are going to return to the race and I feel that we have a good chance to win this race.

Now, how to move forward.

Option 1: Put a bandaid on the boat, sail for three weeks to Cape Town and collect 1.5 points, or possibly a few more points if others breakdown on this leg, arrive 1 day before the inport race, and basically go into leg 2, one of the most difficult legs of the race, beat and not fully prepared.

Option 2: Ship the boat to Cape Town, do the repairs properly, proactively seek out and improve the structural integrity of the boat in areas that have not yet broken, sea trail the boat offshore for 3 days before leg 2, and enter the inport race and leg 2 properly prepared.

We are going for option 2.

As I said in my email of yesterday, I don’t think the breakdowns will be confined to Moviestar, Sunergy, and Pirates. I am not wishing any ill fate on anyone, it is just the nature of these beasts. In fact, I wrote a note today to all boats of the same design…Moviestar, Brasil and Ericsson, describing to them the damage we suffered and inviting them to call us or our designer for more information if they want. I got a couple of nice reply’s during the day from those teams also offering their assitance.

Now, when you have a challenge you find out what your team is made of. I like what I am seeing. First, our team has set up an operation here in Portugal is short order. Secondly, as tired as every one from the shore team is having given everything they had to get the boat ready for November 12th, they all changed their plans to go home and see their families for a week and rode a bus for 6 hours on Sunday night to arrive here at 0200 Mondfay morning. And finally Disney and Pescanova are coming through like champs. Our parnter, Pescanova, has offered to support the cost of the flying the boat to Cape Town, in fact it was CEO Manolo Fernandez’s suggestion. This will gain us 12 days over a shipping option which will be used to get more work done on our job list. Further we will attach other issue that are concerning us so that we can leave for the southern ocean with as much confidence as possible in the boat. For sure this is a luxury and we are greatful for Pescanovas help. I have been in touch with the Disney executives who sit on our board over the past 36 hours and they are 100% behind us, and more resolute than before. Here is an email from one of our Disney team:

Just want you to know the team here is following the events and supporting you from afar. Wish I could be there to lend a hand and help. If there is anything I can do from Ca. (doubtful I know) don’t hesitate to holler. Kimo I wanted to call you a bunch of times Day one, but felt best leave the phones open and let you guys get the job done. Seems all the boats are having their challenges, ours came early and thankfully close to land and the the shore team. You all know better than anyone it is a long journey to the end and this is nothing more than a minor set back. Remember coming from the rear is only going to make this better Pirate lore.


So this is all part of the story. No one tells you how the story is going to unfold when you start. You have to live it in all of its ups and downs….that is the beauty of it and you play your hand as it is delt to you.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Black Pearl has safely arrived to Cascais, and we are fully committed to returning to the Volvo Ocean Race as soon as possible.The shore team has arrived with our tools, clothes, containers and has set up an infrastructure so we are functional. Engineers from Farr International as well as boat builders from Green Marine are on the wayto our base. Later today or tomorrow morning we will conduct a full structural inspection. Following those results, we will make a decision on what needs to be done and then create a schedule for repairs in order to rejoin the race. Options are to return to Leg One should the repairs be quickly feasible, or ship the boat to Cape Town and then reincorporate in Leg Two.

Over the past five months, Pirates of the Caribbean has assembled a strong and capable team and we have achieved a lot. Despite the challenges we have just faced, I am confident we have the ideal sailing and shore team to get us back in competition as quickly as possible.

This is probably just the first of many setbacks the competitors in this race will face. How well each rebounds will most likely have a determinant impact on the results. To that end, the Pirates are still racing even here at the dock.

I know others have suffered damage at this stage and the Pirates wish them well.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean

Kimo Worthington, GM Pirates of the Caribbean.

The communication systems on board are not yet functioning, but I am in contact with Paul via satellite phone continually.

At 5am this morning, there was a strong vibration on the boat that lasted approximately 15 minutes. Erle Williams went off watch to do a boat check and saw lots of water around the keel structure. Upon closer examination he saw that the lid on the fish tank was being pushed up by the water pressure causing the water to come out. At the time, the wind was at 25 to 35 knots and the boat was traveling at 30 knots. Paul came to assess the situation and made the decision to slow the boat down, which took about an hour. After the boat slowed, the leak stopped. The boat is now headed to shore and currently about 106 miles from destination Cascais, Portugal. The storm jib and tri sail are up, wind at 40 to 50 knots. Shore team is on its way to meet the boat in Cascais. All is under control. We will contine to provide updates.

With the sports and entertainment industries increasingly in convergence, it was bound to happen, and the skull-and-cutlass logos on one of the 70-foot sloops in the marina here are high-flying proof that the era of cross-promotion has arrived at a new, not necessarily safer, place.

Sports have spawned scores of Hollywood films, from the sublime (“Raging Bull” with Robert DeNiro) to the ridiculous (“The Fan” with Robert DeNiro). Now, in a novel case of life imitating art before the art is ready for release, it’s a film’s turn to spawn something sporting.

If the sequel to “Pirates of the Caribbean” were not opening worldwide next July, there would be no U.S.-led entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, which begins in earnest Saturday when the seven boats sail out of the Galician port of Vigo on the first of nine legs.

Without the sequel, Paul Cayard would still be in San Francisco, helping his two teenage children through the vagaries of high school, instead of preparing to lead another cosmopolitan crew on a controlled panic of a circumnavigation past icebergs, whales and the very occasional albatross.

But Johnny Depp is on location in the Caribbean reprising his role as the offbeat captain of the Black Pearl, and the more clean-cut Captain Cayard is giving journalists tours of the other Black Pearl as crew members hustle around the new yacht in an attempt to make up for lost months and maintenance.

“It’s good to be a pirate,” Cayard said, not for the first time and certainly not for the last time.

This race stretches on for nearly eight months and includes stops on five continents for retooling and for meeting and greeting, which was all part of the appeal to Disney when it agreed that the Volvo was the right vehicle for its film.

The company has already done something vaguely similar: naming its National Hockey League franchise the Mighty Ducks after the team in its misfit-teens-make-good hockey movie. But that came long after the film’s release.

“This is unlike anything that’s been done before,” said Donald Evans, a vice president at Buena Vista International, Disney’s worldwide marketing and distribution division. “A lot of studios put up a logo, as they do with Nascar, but it’s nothing as organic as this.”

“Movies are not a tangible experience,” Evans said. “You go to a theater and watch a movie. It plays to you. This was an opportunity to bring a piece of Hollywood and piece of the movie literally around the globe.”

The organizers of this quadrennial round-the-world race, formerly known

‘We didn’t want to have cannons coming out of the side of the boat and teak decks.’

as the Whitbread, brought the idea of sponsoring a boat to Disney in the fall of 2004. After plenty of market research and internal discussion, Disney came on board in March, by which time some of the other Volvo entrants, including Spain’s Movistar, were testing their boats and sails on the water. Cayard, the 46-year-old America’s Cup veteran who won this race in 1998, was not announced as skipper until early August, although he still managed to put together a talent-rich sailing team.

At the capitalistic core, there is no difference between a mobile phone company or a software company using a sailing race to raise awareness of its brands and a film studio using a race to promote its products. But it certainly seems different. Software, despite ever more nautical uses, is not inherently about star power and adventure on the high seas.

Although “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” which hit the theaters in 2003, would have clearly been a better cinematic fit for this far-flung sea-sprayed race, the pirate theme works for Cayard. After years of chasing sponsorship money, he has to give only orders and interviews.

“The downside was we were late; the upside was we had all the money,” he said. “I’m not badmouthing typical commercial sponsorships, because we’ve all raced with those for years and they’re great. But this thing with the Pirates, it’s more of a vision or dream, so that was very intriguing to me, and at the end of the day, that was what put me over the edge and despite being extremely late and despite being way under the gun, I was ready to jump in.”

Well aware that the vision thing ran the risk of veering into undignified territory, Cayard and his sailing team worked with Disney to keep the linkage between the pirate ship and the high-tech sloop as subtle as possible.

“We didn’t want to have cannons coming out of the side of the boat and teak decks,” said the Pirates’ general manager, Kimo Worthington.

The boat’s number is USA 7706, after the film’s scheduled release date of July 7, 2006. What look like wavy racing stripes on the side of the boat are actually a hint of a creature to be introduced in the Pirates sequel. More film references could be introduced later in the race.

Disney wanted black sails, but that was vetoed for technical reasons. “The heat would have delaminated the sails,” Worthington said. “We do have a big pirate on the sail, but it’s been nice working with Disney. They don’t want it to be too ridiculous. They don’t want us dressed in pirate clothes or anything like that.”

Any snickering in the rest of the pirate-free fleet is not being done in public.

“It might be all Disney and cute, but they didn’t forget to hire the big talent with the sharp teeth like Cayard,” said Sébastien Josse, the French skipper of Dutch team ABN AMRO’s second boat.

Neal McDonald, the British skipper of Ericsson Racing Team, which won the short opening in-port race in Sanxenxo on Saturday, also has no misgivings. “I’ve seen quite a lot of interest in their boat, which might not have been there otherwise unless there was an angle to it, and I think that’s good for the sport,” he said. “I think the pirates link is attractive to kids, and getting young people involved in sailing is always a bit of a challenge.”

It has been a less-than-triumphant phase in Cayard’s career. Larry Ellison bought up many of Cayard’s America’s Cup assets after the 2000 event in Auckland, New Zealand, and then pushed him out of his Oracle team in large part, Cayard says, because Ellison wanted Oracle to be his show. After whipping his middle-aged bid into superb shape for last year’s Olympic Games, Cayard had to settle for fifth place in the Star Class.

Now, with the village for the 2007 America’s Cup being prepared in Valencia, Cayard is in a different, less bustling part of Spain. “This race gave me more on a personal level than any other sailing competition I’ve been in, including the Olympics,” he said.

Without ideal preparation, he knows that his boat and crew can’t be at their best until the second half of the race, but whatever the final standings, he could still look like a winner.

“Clearly, there are two races here,” McDonald said. “There’s the sailing race, and the PR race.”

For now, the skull and crossed cutlasses hold a big lead in the latter, and if the bottom line looks good at the finish line, there may be more cases of life imitating unfinished art. Hollywood, after all, likes nothing better than a sequel.


10 November 2005, Vigo, Spain: Pirate fever is spreading! Just in time for the start of Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006, the Pirates of the Caribbean team has announced a new sponsor. Pescanova, one of Spain

I am onboard the Black Pearl right now sailing to Vigo for tomorrow’s start. Both Justins’ are with me, Clougher and Ferris and about 15 guests. Also a few of the great Pirates shore team are with us to make some final checks. I am in the nav station downloading some weather with Rosco and we will run the grib for tomorrow. Looks like plenty of breeze from the northwest tomorrow night….30-40knots…so we will be leaving northern Europe in a hurry.

Tomorrow is a momentus day for our project. The phase of building the boat is over and now we are going to race. It has been a fast paced 6 months to build the boat, launch it and get 30 days and 4000 miles under our belt. We also did two major refits in the 60 days since The Pearl was launched. Through all this, the team has come together as a unit and I am very satisfied with both what we have achieved in this time and the foundation that we have built to work from for the next 8 months.

…2 hours break….

We just finished sailing up the bay to Vigo in a light 8 knot northwesterly. We fly the 5000 sq. ft. Pirate shoot right up the bay to meet the 50000 spectators that are here to greet us. Spain has really gotten the fever for this race and they have been terrific hosts to us in our preparations for the race. I am sure tomorrow will be quite a special send off.

Yesterday was also a special day as we welcomed a new partner to the Pirate family, Pescanova. Pescanova has joined us as an official partner. Pescanova knows the race well from their involvement in 1993-1994 with the yacht Galicia Pescanova. Manolo Fernandez is passionate about sailing, passionate about the sea and passionate about our project. This has been clear from the first day we met him and he explained his idea of making an event for 600 children of Vigo which we did on October 25th. This idea will be replicated around the world in all the Port of the Volvo Ocean Race with the collaboration of Disney.

Later last night, the Pirates opened the new Disney feature Premier of Chicken Little. Naturally Chicken Little was very popular with the kids but it was fun for all of us to walk the red carpet. Probably the first time a sailing team opened the Premier of a film. The Pirates all looked flash in their Z Zegna black suits.

Well, time to get some rest now. Tomorrow will be a big day

In light winds on a beautiful sunny day in Bay of Sanxenxo, on the Spanish West Coast, the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race got started yesterday with the first In-Port Race. Not only was this the start of this epic yachting event, now in its 9th edition, but it was also the first time that this round the world event has included “round-the-buoys” racing. And if yesterday was any indication, this new formula will be a big hit. There were no less than 500 spectator boats out on the water afternoon watching the race and 30,000 people crowding the harbor area yesterday evening as the teams returned for the public prize giving in the square. The idea of brining the race to the people is a winner.

The race was delayed as it took a while for a light sea breeze to develop on this November afternoon. But with just 6-8 knots of wind, these 70 footers with their 100 foot high masts and 5000 square foot spinnakers were able to put on a show. Ericsson led the race from wire to wire by winning the left hand side of the start and heading to the left corner where she found more wind and a bit of favorable current. Brasil 1 was in second place around all the buoys followed by Moviestar and our own Pirates for most of the way. Then, up the last windward leg, Moviestar used an upwind “Code 0”, a big roller furling headsail that is set free flying. On Pirates, we did not measure in our “Code 0” as we haven’t had the opportunity to test this sail well and determine if it is in fact faster than a more traditional headsail, and if so, in what wind range. Well, we got a good test in yesterday when we were able to take 200 meters out of Moviestar on that last windward leg and round the last buoy right on their tail. When Moviestar rolled their “Code 0” to tack at the mark, they went right into a spinnaker set and we seized the opportunity to sail a bit higher and faster with the genoa before setting. This put us in a very threatening position to windward of Moviestar and slowly but surely we rolled them to finish third. Adding a bit of extra heat to this battle was the fact that the King Juan Carlos of Spain was on Moviestar and his daughter, Princess Cristina, was with us on the Pearl. On the way in to the harbor after the finish, the Princess was concerned that she might have to find her own ride home. She later sent me a text to thank the team and mentioned that her dad did give her a ride home on his plane.

Behind Moviestar, the two ABN Amro boats had a tough day occupying last and second to last all the way around the track. While the first four boats yesterday were the Farr designed boats which are narrower, the wider ABN boats predictable did not like the very light conditions. They seem to have more wetted surface and they have the two rudders. None of that was helping them yesterday. Yesterday was a tough day for their team as they are the favorites in this race having spent more time sailing and having the advantage of two boats for development. They handled themselves well and sucked it up keeping in mind that this is just the very beginning of a 31000 mile race with 112 points available and yesterday just 3.5 of those points were given out to the winner.

You can’t read to much into yesterday. The whole race took place in under 8 knots of wind in relatively smooth seas. This is not a very good representation of the average conditions that we will have in the race around the world. Having said that, I am very happy because since May 3rd, when I first met the Disnay executives to dicuss this project, November 5th has been a looming deadline, and at times approaching at an alarmingly fast rate. The deadline came, we were prepared to race, and we achieved a nice result. More importantly, we learned a lot from our competitors and we had a great team on the boat and on the water observing, taking photos and gathering information. We will now digest all of that and move forward.

Onboard the Black Pearl, we had three exceptional guests yesterday; Princess Cristina of Spain, herself a very accomplished sailor; Mark Zoradi, President of Buena Vista International; and Fredrik Arp, President and CEO of Volvo Cars Corporation. Apart from enjoying the exceptional “on-the-field-of-play” ride, all three were impressed with how demanding and physical the boats are for the 10 crew….and this was in 8 knots of wind! Our top speed yesterday was only 11 knots so we can only imagine what these In-Port race are going to be like in 25 knots of wind. Along with Mark, we have about 10 Disney and Buena Vista executives here visiting us for a few days, getting to know the event and the team. Every time someone who doesn’t know our world comes and spends a few days with us, I am impressed with how easily they become captivated by what we do. I have seen it happen with the Disney people one by one over the past two months and that was the case with Mark yesterday.

This week, we are preparing the boat and crew for the leg to Cape Town which starts next Saturday. Monday we will have a crew meeting in the morning followed by a safety session out on the water where we wil test the emergency steering system, man overboard procedures, abandon ship procedures, and personal injury procedures. Tuesday-Thursday will be dedicated to loading the boat and getting a bit of time to ourselves to pack up and move out of Sanxenxo. We have been living here for about 6 weeks so we are fairly well entrenched and you can just walk out of your hotel room.

It feels good to have the event under way and it was a great start.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean

Sanxenxo, 5 November 2005

Classification after In port Race 1

1. Ericsson Racing Team (SWE), Skipper Neal McDonald (GBR): pts 3.5

2. Brasil 1 (BRA), Skipper Torben Grael (BRA): pts 3.0

3. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN (USA), Skipper Paul Cayard (USA): pts 2.5

4. movistar (SPA), Skipper Bouwe Bekking (NED): pts 2.0

5. ABN Amro Two (NL), Skipper Sebastien Josse (FRA): pts 1.5

6. ABN Amro One (NL), Skipper Mike Sanderson (NZ): pts 1.0

7. Premier Challenge (AUS), Skipper Grant Wharington (AUS): pts 0

Next Race is scheduled for Saturday 12th: Vigo-Cape Town