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