Pirates receive warm welcome upon arrival in Melbourne

23 January 2006 (Melbourne, Australia)

Paul Cayard and his Pirates of the Caribbean team crossed the finishing line off Williamstown, Melbourne at 2325 hrs (local time) to a warm reception from the awaiting flotilla.

The team has overcome much adversity on Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race to finish a very credible fourth place, picking up 8.5 points from the leg in total, receiving 4.5 points from the two scoring gates and 4 points for their overall finish position. The Pirates of the Caribbean have now moved up the overall scoreboard from seventh to fourth (tied with Brasil 1), just two points behind third placed movistar.

Alan Finney, Managing Director/Vice President, Buena Vista International (Australia), stated: “This has been an incredibly courageous undertaking for all involved in the Volvo Ocean Race and the BVI Australia team are all proud of Paul and the crew and are looking forward to celebrating their Melbourne stopover.”

The Pirates have gelled as a team as they worked tirelessly to overcome problems during Leg 2 from Cape Town to Melbourne including; a broken radar bracket on the first night and the boom vang breaking, both of which the crew repaired at sea; an electrical fire; contaminated drinking water and finally the keel ram snapping and forcing The Black Pearl to stop in Albany for emergency repairs. The biggest concern for the crew was the structural damage incurred to the keel area which forced the team to slow down for 48 hours while an assessment was made.

Paul Cayard, Skipper of The Black Pearl, said “We are very happy to be here. It was a challenging leg but a lot of good has come out of it for The Black Pearl. We have finally raced a leg and that has given us a chance to calibrate our systems, Jules and my working relationship on weather routing and strategy, our watch systems, and our sail changing techniques. We have a good grip on our boat’s performance in all conditions and when to use which sail combinations. These things all take time on the water and we have just put in our first three week stint in this VOR 70 Class. Now that we are ashore, our first order of business is to diagnose the damage to our keel structure and assess the repairs that need to be made. We have just 12 days to prepare the boat for the inport race on February 4th . This event is like a relay race. Different departments of the team run different legs of the race. Each part of the team can’t start until the one before it finishes.”

Added the reflective Justin “Juggy” Clougher (AUS), Bowman, “There is an enormous amount of satisfaction in finishing the leg. This has been a milestone for the project on many levels, human, technical and analytical. We missed an enormous amount of data collection on the first leg, and have compressed all that and more into this leg. Coping with technical difficulty has been a drag, however, looking though this we are very happy with what we have achieved. The boat has shown her potential, we have had to rationalize the boat’s performance and our expectations of it and ourselves and the team now has a “play book”. Building on what we have learned is the logical step. If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger…. No pain, No gain….No guts, No glory…. Go hard or Go home!!”

High points will always include any sort of Southern Ocean “ripping” in all shapes and forms. This is the most exhilarating monohull yachting you can do, on world record paces. Charging through the Southern latitudes with nobody else around is a thrill. Sailing home is always a high point. The coming together of the team unit will be a payout that lasts the whole race. Losing my Michelin spare is a definite plus!! Competing in offshore yachting is great, what better way to make a living than doing what you like to do? Low points? Never look for them, can’t dwell on them, you’re asking the wrong person…… but having to watch Dirk deRidder eat is NOT pretty!! Can’t wait to get back 100% strength and get amongst it, where a pirate belongs!!”

Jules Salter (GBR), Navigator, commented: “The first few days of Leg 2 provided a range of conditions in which we could test The Black Pearl’s pace against the other yachts for the first time in this race. We learnt a lot about our sail crossovers, angles and set up with reference to ABN 1 and 2. Our speed in moderate running and upwind conditions was fine, we also got a good insight into some lighter air reaching set ups. We had a good 24-hour run of 541 nautical miles which was cut a little short by a piece of gear failure. The ABN ‘muscle’ boats are certainly faster power reaching in a large sea but we saw enough areas where our performance can at least be equal to encourage us for the rest of the race.”

The Melbourne stopover won’t be all about repairs for the Pirates of the Caribbean. On February 6th, Paul Cayard and the team, together with Official Partner Pescanova, will share their adventures and tales of racing around the globe with more than 500 Melbourne school children. These unique events, are becoming a hallmark of the team’s stop in every port, with plans already underway for the Pescanova event in Rio in late March.

According to Donald Evans, Vice-president, Marketing and Promotions, Buena Vista International the international film distribution arm of The Walt Disney Studios, “We entered into this race with high expectations, and that has not changed. We are very aware of the challenges and are confident that we will continue well in this race. The Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06 continues to be a unique way to promote our upcoming film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. We’ve got one of the world’s best skippers and crew, events in each port that benefit youngsters, and lots of excitement around it all. We are looking forward to the next six months.”

Pirates of the Caribbean Crew List, Leg 2

Paul Cayard (USA)

Jules Salter (UK)

Justin ‘Juggy’ Clougher (Aus)

Curtis Blewitt (Canada)

Justin Ferris (NZ)

Rodney Arden (NZ)

Craig Satterthwaite (NZ)

Erle Williams (NZ)

Dirk de Ridder (Netherlands)

Anthony ‘Youngster’ Merrington (AUS)