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

We put the Black Pearl back in the water on Halloween but it was too windy today to take her out for a spin. The wind has been blowing 45 knots today with the waves crashing over the sea wall and spraying my portable office. It has been blowing 20 plus from the South to southwest for most of the past 2 weeks and you know what direction we have to go when we start the leg to Cape Town…Southwest. Maybe there is a theory that if it blows from the southwest for three weeks straight, we might get some other direction on November 12th.

We had another long list of jobs to attend to last week after our two events in Vigo. The crew also had to attend a two-day safety course and a media training day. The Safety course was very valuable although we hope we wont need to employ anything we learned there. We did spend an afternoon in a swimming pool with our life rafts learning how to right them if they are upside down, how to get an injured crewmember in one, how to bail it out, how to collect rain water and a number of other things. The next day we learned how to stop bleeding from a deep wound, how to do CPR, and man overboard rescue. The good thing about these courses is not only do they teach you things but it makes you think about how you would handle certain situations. As a crew, we are going to spend next Monday go over our own safety plans onboard our boat.

Tomorrow is supposed to be very windy again in the morning, 35+ knots, then hopefully moderating in the afternoon. We will try to get out there and at least check some of our new sails. We are planning on doing some short course training for the inport race this Saturday. Thursday and Friday are supposed to be lighter and Saturday itself is supposed to be quite light with a possible seabreeze building. We’ll see.

We are really coming down the final stretch here. Freddy is getting all the food ready for the 12th, we are preparing the inside of the boat for storing all the food and gear that we need to take, the Volvo Race organization is scrutinizing all our safety gear while the measurement committee is making their checks. New sails need to be checked and sometimes modified. Spares are getting made up and put aside in a corner. The weather briefs are daily now as we have Wouter Verbraak onsite as our meteorologist for preparing us for this leg. This list goes on. It is impressive to see what goes into getting a boat ready to go to sea for 3 weeks and 6700 miles. I remember what a mountain of work it was 8 years ago and how much better we got at it as the race went on. The same will be the case this time. This will be the toughest leg to prepare for.

The logistics of these teams is no small chore either. Not only do we have to get 20 people down to Cape Town we have to get our whole base structure down there as well. Curt Oetking has been working on that when he hasn’t been working on our boat. Our Cape Town containers left last week and this whole set up that we have here in Spain will be sent directly to Melbourne. The items you need in every port have to be air-freighted.

As this race dates approach, the numbers of people around a team go up. Family members show up, sponsors show up, important dinners are more frequent, it is the “Event” factor coming into full gear. It is all good though. Being busy and challenged all the time is what makes life interesting and satisfying.

On Saturday, we shift modes. We are out of preparation mode and into race mode. Looking back, it has been intense and fast paced 5 months for The Pirates of the Caribbean. The team has done an excellent job of getting the boat this well prepared this quickly. Looking forward, the next 8 months will be very challenging for all of us but we will do amazing things together, travel to remote areas and create memories that will last a lifetime. Life doesn’t get better than that.

Today we did a really nice thing with Disney and Pescanova for the children of Vigo.

Pescanova, the Spanish fish company that had an entry in the 1993 Whitbread Round the World Race, organized a special day for the children of Vigo at their shipyard today. 500 children were invited to come and meet the Pirates of the Caribbean and see the Black Pearl. At 12:00 local time, the Black Pearl sailed into Punto Lagoa Marina with a salute of six cannons and multiple fireworks. The 500 children were all seated in a large, covered, tribune. The Pearl slipped into her dock to the tune from the “Curse of he Black Pearl”, and the cheers of the children. The crew was met at the dock by the mayor of Vigo Corina Porro, Manuel Fernandez Souza – CEO of Pescanova and his wife and Santiago Dominguez – General Director of Sport in the region of Galicia and Abel Cabaolero – President of the Port of Vigo.

As the Pirates walked up the gang way, the Spanish bagpipes were playing. The Pirates shook hands with all the young fans and proceeded to “take the Marina” by hoisting their flag on the highest mast in the port.

Next everyone proceeded into a shed, in fact the exact shed where the Pearl was refit last week, which was now completely done up as a conference hall. Mega screens, large stage, black drapes, and Pirates of the Caribbean flags hung everywhere. The children were dressed in special wet weather gear and hats supplied by Pescanova.

A few speeches were made, namely the mayor stating how proud they were to be the host city for the Start of the 2005 Volvo Ocean Race and how the city and the children would follow the Black Pearl all the way and “be with us” in their hearts.

A few trailers from the upcoming “Dead Man’s Chest” were shown which the kids loved.

Next the Pirates took the stage. First lesson of the day…an English lesson…”It’s good to be a Pirate!”. Repeat after me…I had the kids chanting; “It’s good to be a Pirate!”. Then we gave them a video of life onboard, followed by a little geography; illustrating the course around the world and the various ports of call and the big capes that we round. Finally, Juggy, our Tazmanian Pirate, came out on stage all geared up in Southern Ocean garb and disrobed so that everyone could appreciate how much gear we have to wear down south.

We took a few questions from the floor. The kids were very enthusiastic and genuine in their interest. As much as the day was meant for the kids, I have to say, it was a great day for us. We were all touched by how interested and excited these kids were to see us. These children were well behaved, very attentive and appreciative…just beautiful to see young kids like that.

Thank you to the children of Vigo. You are all officially Pirates. Come and see us on the 12th of November!

Captain Paul

Pirates of the Caribbean

It has been a while since I got into a class of boat where handling it around the bouys was a complete learning experience. The VOR 70 is all new to me and to all the Pirates. Not often do Olympic medalists, America’s cup winners, past Volvo Ocean Race winners, find them on a boat where they have to learn how to handle the boat from scratch.

Today we trained by sailing windward leward legs on a 3 mile course which is the legnth of the legs for the inport race we will do in 2 weeks time. On this, relitively compressed playing field, Handling these 70 footers, with 5000 square foot spinnakers, runners, canards that go up and down and canting the keel is a real handful for those who know what they are doing. For those of us still trying to fingure out what to do, it is even more of a challenge.

The wind was slow to get started today but finally filled around 13:30. The Spanish boat had given up on the day and went in. We stayed out and were treated to a beautiful day with the wind peaking at 12 knots and generally around 10 knots. It was a seabreeze from 220 and fairly steady and a beautiful sunny day.

We sailed three full laps trying different sets and drops, different tacking

and gybing techniques. To say that we are learning a lot each day out there would be an understatement. I think we are making some good progress but I could see doing this for 3 months and still improving with each new day.

Unfortunately, we can’t even train like this for the next two weeks. Tomorrow we have to measure the boat, Tuesday we are presenting the Pirates of the Caribbean to 500 school children of Vigoand WEdnesday are hosting some media with Disney in Baiona. Wednesday-Sunday we will not be sailing to get the jobs list down to a manageable number. Currently we have 178 itmes on our work list for the boat.

It is all good though; We are a happy team, the food is excellent thanks to Chef Rehana and his able assistant Jo, we are still sleeping in dry beds and we are having fun dealing with the challenge. Doesn’t get much better than that in life!


Its been a while since I wrote a note. The team did a great job with all the work on the boat. We had 15 guys come in from all over the world and each and everyone of them was fantastic to have as part of Pirates. Thanks to everyone as they worked like champions and they are forever Pirates!

We have the Pearl back in the water and been sailing for the past three days. It is nice to get back out there and learning. We have been sailing alongside a couple of boats! First time was Wednesday with ABN. It was blowing about 30 and they had a special little jib and a nice set up on the main and the blew our doors off upwind. they turned and went back to the harbor first and we continued on upwind trying to sort out a few things with our rig set up. When we turned to go back the speed immediately went up to 25 kntos with just the jib and main. Then we put up the fractional kite….30 knots. ABN later told me they laid the boat down on the way in. We actually did too before putting up the kite. got the keel stuck on the wrong side in a gybe. Nothing too major. Just went head to wind on the new gybe, got things sorted with the electronic controls, canted, and ripped off at 25 again.

Today we lined up with Brasil and ABN again in 8 knots and things were much closer. There is a big difference in sails and one thing that is becoming very apparent is that sails make a big difference in speed in this class. Speed differences are in the knots, not tenths of knots!

The shore team worked non stop for 12 days and are thuroughly burned out. So they are getting a bit of a rest…sleeping in until 0700…things like that.

Tomorrow is a work day. We have a few small jobs to finish up so the boat is ready for measurement. We will try for the hull measuremnet on Sunday or Monday.

The days are very busy and it is hard to get a workout in. This morning we made a short one then Freddy tried to get me to go to the gym at 2100 after dinner but I was too beat. Freddy went by himself. That dude is an athlete.

We have a lot to learn and get sorted. Sailing these things with 10 people is not easy. Sails make a big difference. All this takes time to get right. We are late but that just means the challenge is great. We have a great group of people and that is the biggest asset and organization has.


Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean

We are in the middle of a work week on the boat. The mast is down, the keel is off and the boat is in the shed. The later fact has been a great move as it has been raining a lot this week. Following the 2000 miler and the trip to Holland and back, we got enough time in the boat to know what things we wanted to change. We lined up 14 boat builders from around the world, rented a shed, got the parts lined up and hit it hard last Thursday. Code name for the project is “Pimp my ride”. Special edition T-Shirts are being made. The boat should come out of the shed this weekend and we will start sailing on Monday.

We have 15 outside contractors working on the boat this week plus our own shore team. We have four boat builders from Switzerland who work on Alinghi, we call them the Ski Team, we have four guys from Green Marine in the UK, we have 3 guys from the USA, and 5 painters from England. All these guys do is work, eat, work, sleep and work. Mark Rehana has been taking good care of them with the food. This is proving once again to be a big plus to have not just an inhouse cook but to have Mark Rehana and his able assistant, Jo. They are simply the best!

Three of our competitors are also working on their boats this week. Both ABN boats and Ericsson are out of the water. Brasil 1 arrived today from their training base in Portugal. Volvo event management is setting up the erace village near the club. Things are heating up in Sanxenxo.

Last weekend Disney Italy and I went to the Genoa Boat Show and presented the Pirates of the Caribbean and the Black Pearl to the Italian media. The conference was moderated by Guilio Guazini, the RIA commentator who covers sailing for them. RAI, has bought the rights to the Volvo Ocean Race for Italy. The Italian public are big fans of sailing and it seems there was a lot of interest in the Pirates of the Caribbean. We also announced our Italian Official Suppliers, Ermenegildo Zegna and Gottifredi Maffioli. Zegna is providing us with our formal attire and this continues a long relationship I have had with the high quality fashion house from Milan. Gottifredi Maffioli is number one in the world of ropes and high tech fibers for racing sailboats and there are making some custom ropes for us. Both are very enthusiastic and looking forward to a great partnership with Pirates.

On Friday, October 14, a big event is taking place in my home town and in fact in the St. Francis Yacht Club. The America’s Cup Hall of Fame will induct three new members; Fritz Jewett, Jack Sutphen and Alan Payne. Fritz Jewett was the Chairman of many successful America’s Cup campaigns over a 30 year time frame. Most noteably, the 1980 Freedom campaign and the 1987 Stars and Stripes campaign, both very defining campaigns for Dennis Conner. Coincidentally, Jack Sutphen also served a key role in those campaigns as trial horse helmsman. In 2000 , Fritz served as Chairman of my AmericaOne campaign. I am not sure if this induction is long over due but I am sure it is fully merited. Sport is full of winners but few are the winners who have integrity, live up to their commitments, maintain strong and positive leadership in times of adversity, possess genuine compassion for their team mates, all the while competing with the utmost intensity and commitment in the pursuit of the goal. Congratulations Fritz!

There isn’t much time left to the start of this big adventure. Measurement procedures start this Saturday with a draw to allocate the measurement slots. We are planning to do some more training next week, look at race sails, study the weather with our meteorologist, Jean Yves Bernot and eat and sleep. We have some madatory saftey courses to take, media training and a few hospitality events. For sure, no one is bored around here.

All is well in the Pirate family.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean

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.

Today Paul Cayard announced his latest sailing project as skipper of The Black Pearl, official entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 at Salone Nautico Internazionale in Genoa. He and his stellar team, The Pirates of the Caribbean, will race the 70 foot mono-hull yacht The Black Pearl around the world in the exhilarating Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 commencing in Vigo, Spain on November 5th, 2005.

Anticipation is high for the team, which includes international champions of extraordinary experience, and it signals Cayard