The Leukemia Cup kicked off on September 8 with a VIP reception and dinner for major sponsors and top fundraisers at the San Francisco Yacht Club. Eight year old Campbell Nolan, the honorary skipper of the Leukemia Cup, welcomed the VIPs and offered some poignant words of thanks to all involved in our event. Campbell was diagnosed with rare T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in September 2005. He is currently enrolled in a clinical trial for a new drug specifically addressing T-Cell, and is being treated at UCSF Children?s Hospital. Since his diagnosis, Campbell has demonstrated great courage, insight and faith beyond his years.

World champion sailor Paul Cayard was the keynote speaker. Those who attended would agree that Cayard riveted the crowd with thrilling footage and stories from his recent adventure in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006, skippering the Disney-sponsored Pirates of the Caribbean.

There were 55 boats on the start line racing under PHRF with spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions, as well as one-design classes for J/105 and Rhodes 19.

The event raised an impressive $140,000 to honor blood cancer patients and help fight leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. This far exceeded the organizer’s goal of $100,000 and is in fact the most successful first time Leukemia Cup Regatta ever.

–Sept. 19, 2006–

Momentum Growing as Sailing Legends and Amateurs Prepare for 20th Annual Pro Am Regatta Week at Bitter End Yacht Club

Preparations are well underway for the much anticipated 20th Annual Pro Am Regatta, being held at Bitter End Yacht Club in the British Virgin Islands, October 28 – November 4, 2006. This year, the week long competition will feature a unique combination of fleet and match racing, and will be highlighted by the long awaited exhibition match “showdown” between sailing legends Russell Coutts and Paul Cayard. Along with one lucky amateur guest crewmember, Coutts and Cayard will face off aboard matched Hobie Getaways for bragging rights and to raise money for the Hokin Scholarship fund.

“Interest is running particularly high for our 20th Anniversary milestone Pro Am Regatta week,” said Dana Hokin, Bitter End Yacht Club Owner and Managing Partner. “Both amateurs and the legends of sailing who will participate are looking forward to this year’s competition and the lively social schedule that awaits them off the water, too. And, I am also pleased to announce that Banco Popular has joined the rapidly growing list of premier sponsors for this unique event.”

In addition to Coutts and Cayard, professional participants at this Year’s Pro Am Regatta include Ken Read, two-time Pro Am winner, two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, five-time J-24 World Champion and Etchells World Champion; Dawn Riley, Whitbread and America’s Cup veteran, President of the Women’s Sports Foundation and America True; Dave Perry, one of the best-known sailors of the last 30 years, both as a world class racer, and as an inspirational author and educator; Lowell North, Founder of North Sails and Olympic Gold Medalist; Keith Musto, 2005 Pro Am winner, the U.K.’s best known dinghy sailor and Olympic Medalist; Rod Johnstone, 1st Annual Pro Am host, 2000 Pro Am winner and J-boat designer; Bruce Kirby, 1st Annual Pro Am host, two-time World Champion in I-14s, two-time Canadian Olympian, Father (designer) of the Laser, Sonar and Ideal 18 and penned America’s Cup racers for Canada (Canada 1 and 2), and Butch Ulmer, 1999 Pro Am winner and founder of U.K. Sails.

Pirate Update-June 19, 2006

An act of Piracy was committed on the waters off Gothenborg Sweden around mid day on June 17th. As good Pirates would, and should, we stole first place on Leg 9 from ABN2, just 20 miles from the finish line.

And what a treasure to steal! It was the biggest leg finish of the whole race, in every sense. There were 7000 boats on the sea, the first of which joined us half way between Denmark and Sweden. The shore was lined with a further 200,000 spectators. As we gybed our way down the ever narrowing channel into Gothenborg, the spectator craft became wall to wall. You could have walked the last ten miles of the leg..hopping from one boat to the next. Military boats tried to keep the main channel clear for us but they had little success. I was initially concerned that the disturbance to the water and wind could cost us first place. In the end, I was enjoying the chaotic atmosphere and celebration that Sweden put on for all of the Volvo fleet.

To win the last leg or the last race of any event is a great way to go out. You leave on such a regrets. Let’s be honest.we were lucky. The kids on ABN2 had a 15 miles lead in the race with 15 miles to go. They parked there in the early morning and we came with the new wind. We sailed right up to them and when they finally got going, we were even. It was a dog fight for about 8 miles to the last turning mark of the course; gybing in 3 knots of wind with one knot of current against us. In the end, we turned the mark 1 boat length ahead, and that was all she wrote. We stretched from there because our boat is a better light air machine.

The end of this great adventure has come. In looking back over the 13 months, I would say that this campaign has been every bit as satisfying as when we won 8 years ago. Satisfaction is derived from exceeding expectations. In 1998, we put a lot of time in preparations, over a year, and we expected to do well. This time, we sailed the boat just 18 days before the first leg started. Third overall would have been a good result. Then we did not even sail Leg 1. In Cape Town we were in LAST! Then the come back started in Melbourne. The shore team got the boat fixed and the crew gained confidence in the Pearl and we finally began to race.

The Pirates became a model of consistency; 11 podium finishes out of 16 races. Gaining second place overall in New York City was a dream for the American boat. Timing is everything. The Big Chief, Bob Iger came and sailed the Pearl in New York harbor. Bob has become one of our biggest fans and as he did, so did many others at Disney and Buena Vista. It was very satisfying to see this global company, who had little knowledge of our sport, get hooked.

13 months ago, when I met with Donald Evan and Grant Palin in Burbank, I could envision the boat and team as it looked at the finish in Gothenborg. I fell in love with that vision. Against all my experience and judgment, that told me we were far too late to start this campaign, I went for it. It could have been a big flop for Disney and for Paul Cayard. But it wasn’t, and I am thanking my lucky stars for that. You have to acknowledge when luck comes your way and I am more than happy to do so in this case.

I did try to give us the best chance of success because I knew the mountain we had to climb was high. I surrounded myself with excellent people all the way around. They solved the technical issues, they cooked the best meals, they operated in the most efficient way, they sailed the boat to the highest professional level, in short, they exceeded what I could have asked of them. My hat is off to each and every Pirate. You guys are the best!

So it is with satisfaction, pride and a touch of sadness, that we close this great adventure. Appropriately, it was the best ride of my life.

I am taking a break for a few weeks here in Sweden with my family. This summer I will sail two Transpac 52 regattas on George Andreadis’ boat Atalanti with Russell Coutts and the team. I will sail with my kids in California and Oregon, in their boats this summer. I will sail in Sardinia with Leonardo Ferragamo on his Swan in September. I will sail my Star in the World Championship in San Francisco at the end of September. I will keep updated with reports from these races.

Thanks for following us and being a part of this great adventure. Remember, the richest people on the planet are the one with the best experiences!

Captain Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean

Wow! What a way to finish the race! Hollywood could not have written a better script. As Pirates would, we stole first place from ABN Amro Two today to win the final leg of this marathon.

The crowd here in Gothenborg was HUGE. 100’s of thousands.

We are all very happy and with our families for now.

I will write more tomorrow.


Pirates of the Caribbean

In the most thrilling of finishes, Pirates of the Caribbean (Paul Cayard/USA) finally crept past ABN AMRO TWO (Sebastien Josse) in the closing moments of leg nine and crossed the final finish line of the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06 in Goteborg, Sweden, today at 13:44:06 GMT (14:44:06 local time) to a rapturous welcome by thousands of onlookers cramming the race village in Lindholmen.

On this beautiful Swedish summer’s day, thousands of spectators lined the islands and surrounding shoreline as well as taking to the water to applaud the Pirates as they scored their first win of the event and in so doing, secured their position of second place overall in the event. ABN AMRO TWO finished in second place at 13:48:56 GMT, just four minutes 50 seconds after the American boat.

After leading for most of leg nine, Brasil 1 (Torben Grael) finally crossed the line at 14:32:15 MT to take the third podium position, and confirm her third place overall. This is a fantastic achievement for Brazil who has never had a team represented in this race until now.

On finishing, Paul Cayard said:

“This couldn’t have been scripted better by anyone in Hollywood.

“I feel bad for the ABN AMRO TWO guys, but at the end of the day, we were racing to win, so we had to take advantage of the situation.

“This is the best welcome into any port that I have ever seen. Gothenburg couldn’t have welcomed us any bigger and you can’t go out on a higher note than that.

“We were one of the most consistent boats with 11 podium places. That’s smart sailing. We were in last place a couple of days ago and we got lucky.

“It’s all over now. We have a great group of guys, we’ve had our down moments, but no one quit and we just did what champions do and pull together.”

Race patron HRH Prince Carl Philip of Sweden was waiting on the dockside to welcome the Pirates and to present the trophies to Paul Cayard and his team for winning this leg and also to Sebastien Josse for finishing second. Joining the Prince were Fredrik Arp, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation and Leif Johansson, president of AB Volvo.

Paul Cayard and The Black Pearl, the last of the racing yachts to be launched, initially took the offshore option in the opening stage of leg nine, but as the inshore route appeared to be more favourable, the team took the expensive decision to cut their losses yesterday and head towards the Danish coast, leaving Ericsson (Neal McDonald) and ABN AMRO ONE (Mike Sanderson) out to sea. Their reward came slowly, but surely, as they started to overtake, first Brunel (Matt Humphries) and then Brasil 1.

For the young team on ABN AMRO TWO, the final few hours of leg nine could not have been more intense. As they ghosted to a halt at the head of the fleet, just 16 miles from the finish, they could only look over their shoulders as the Pirates bore down on them. Cayard’s team maintained their speed and crept past the Dutch yacht, taking the lead at just after midday, GMT.

ABN AMRO TWO snatched the lead from Brasil 1 (Torben Grael) yesterday at 1600 GMT, and initially took a six mile lead, which, by 2200 GMT had stretched to 15 miles. Overnight, the team still managed to average 10 knots, but as dawn rose, the wind died leaving the team in a nail-biting situation, with a much deserved win slipping through their fingers as the crew was left powerless.

Position: 55,50.3N , 6,38.14E

Speed: 6 knots, Course: 348 deg.

At the start, we were planning on heading off on Starboard for a couple of hours to get a shift to the left. So we went after the left end of the line and got it. Only Ericsson got that bit more wrong that us. So we scrambled back to the right where Brasil 1 had already established a firm grip on first place.

Later in the evening the wind lifted and we played the coast line harder than our competitors and made some nice gains, eventually getting ourselves in to second place. We were feeling pretty good about things at that point.

This morning’s forecast (GRIB) was for the wind to got right to 000 (North) then going back left to 325. So when the wind went to 040 and the whole group tacked to starboard, we took up a position just on the left side of the fleet.

Well the right has been huge for the last four hours and we are now in last place. When we all tacked to starboard we were just half a mile to leeward of Brasil1. Now they are 6 miles out to windward of us. Brunel who was 2.2 miles downwind of us, sailed high and fast somehow and went right over the top of us. ABN2 was 2 miles behind us and went hard right and is now close to Brasil1. We don’t seem to be setting the world on fire with our speed in this light air either so that is making is tough.

The wind has just about died now and it looks from the sked like the guys inshore have more wind than we do. It is hard to tack as we are on the making board by 20 degrees.

Frustrating at the moment.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean

After getting punished by the right, we finally bit the bullet hard and went into the right corner. We left Ericsson and ABN Amro One and actually sailed on the un-favored board by 20 degrees for an hour.

The reward is that we have caught up and just recently passed Brunel and now Brasil1 is the boat in front of us. We are in a position that works for us for now.

That was an extremely frustrating episode this morning, one without much reason, but we are passed that hurdle.

The wind is nothing at all like the forecasts. In fact, it is about 180 degrees out and has been for most of this short race.

For now, we look good on ABN Amro One and Ericsson and ABN Amro Two has done a very nice job. However, this is definitely one of those race that will not be over until the Fat Lady sings.

I think the wind is going to completely collapse up here at the next corner in about 40 miles. The little bit of wind we had today was created by the Danish coast and now that is evaporating.

It could be a long night without much wind. I suppose it will be the last night of this race.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean

The crowd was huge this morning at the departure ceremony. One thing is clear from our four days here, Holland is definitely into sailing and the Volvo Ocean Race.

The fleet paraded down the Maas River, accompanied by hundreds of spectator craft. The 22 miles of shore line was populated with thousands of cheering fans. We wore our arms out waving for 2 hours straight. The enthusiasm was great to see.

Today’s forecast for the race is decent wind at the start and for the first 10 hours, then gradually getting lighter, almost to the point of drifting.

The conditions approaching Gothenberg are supposed to be quite fluky and variable. This is Brasil1’s dream forecast.. anything but steady conditions is their best chance to get four boats between us, which is what they have to do. Brasil1 may be the fastest boat in the fleet in light air also, so I am sure they are feeling good about their chances. We will just have to keep it close and hope that what ever luck hits them, good or bad, hits us too.

Also, the leg is not a fixed course. The race committee can lengthen or shorten the course by sending us on about six different “loops” as we approach Gothenberg. They want to have the fleet enter the city as close to 1300 CET Saturday as possible. So we wont know for sure how much more racing there is left as we near the end of the race.

If the conditions are very light they may even shorten the course and finish us off Denmark and have us motor in. It is all very much up in the air, so to speak.

So the best strategy for us is to stay close to Brasil1, if we have the speed to do so, and just let all these variables become irrelevant. That is the plan.

Time to get ready for the start.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean

On the dockside with fourth placed Pirates of the Caribbean

10 June 2006

Paul Cayard, (USA) – Skipper

“It is fantastic to see everyone here and to see the enthusiasm that the people of Rotterdam have for the race.”

“We have enjoyed six podium finishes in a row and I think we had it coming. Fourth is okay, we are still second overall and we have a couple more races to go.”

Dirk de Ridder, (NED) – Trimmer

“I am really amazed by the reception and surprised to see this many people turn out. Sailing in Holland is not that big, but in this last year and a half it seems to have made a big jump which I would largely put down to TEAM ABN AMRO – it is just great to see.”

Jerry Kirby, (USA) – Bowman

“I think you have to be a little philosophical about our performance and look at the whole team effort. It was an uphill battle from the start and considering the circumstances and problems we had we are in a good position. You also can

The crowd here in Holland has been amazing. Hundreds if not thousands of spectator boats have been out on the water yesterday to welcome the fleet and today to watch in the In Port Race. In the harbor where the boats are in the inner city, 60,000 fans came down to see the boats and greet the sailors. This country loves sailing! At the prize giving this afternoon for today’s race, all the sailors from ABN, Brasil1 and Pirates through their hats into the crowd as a showing a appreciation for their enthusiasm for what we do. Judging from the public interest in this race here, I would expect to see three of four boats from Holland in the next Volvo Ocean Race.

Today, we hit the 3 wood. With a four stroke lead and two holes to go, you don’t take out the driver and shank it into the trees. We had a middle of the line start while the others fought for the leeward end, Ericsson was over early and had to go back, ABN1 was then the left boat and they won. Brasil1 was second from the left and they were second and we were third from the left and we were third.

We had good speed and made some inroads at times on Brasil1 but the course was shorter than usual at 2.5 miles and we never could really threaten them.

Big picture is that we have a three point lead going into the last leg. I know it says we have a four point lead, but Brasil1 will win the tie breaker if we tie. So, Brasil1 has to be first or second in the leg in order to have a chance to beat us. If they are third or worse, we finish second overall. Then, if Brasil1 is first or second, we have to be with three places of them and we keep our second place.

If we stay out of 5th or 6th, we finish second no matter what Brasil1 does. So we are in good shape heading into this last leg.

Besides, the last leg is to Sweden, my wife is Swedish, and I still need to impress my mother in-law. So we are planning on winning the last leg!

Tomorrow is a day off. Tuesday is Disney corporate sailing day and loading the boat. Wednesday is a day off and Thursday is the start to Gothenberg. We are starting in the inner city of Rotterdam. That means a 22 mile sail out the very narrow shipping channel. Should be exciting.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean