Pirates of the Caribbean Ready for Rio

Wellington, New Zealand

After a three day pitstop in Wellington, New Zealand the Pirates of the Caribbean will start Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race on 19th February. On Leg 4, the Pirates of the Caribbean team will race 6,700 nautical miles from Wellington, New Zealand to the finish line in Rio, Brazil.

“Our third place finish on Leg 3 was another solid performance adding to our second place in the Melbourne inshore race. We will be taking some momentum into Leg 4, which is important, as this is the toughest leg of the race.deep into the Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn. We have enjoyed our short stay in Wellington. The Kiwis are enthusiastic sailing fans and we appreciate that,” commented Paul Cayard, Skipper of The Black Pearl.

Onboard The Black Pearl is a crew of round the world veterans boasting more than 15 circumnavigations. For Leg 4, Jeremy Smith a member of the Pirates of the Caribbean Shore Team from Christchurch, New Zealand will be stepping onboard. Smith will take the place of Canadian sailor Curtis Blewett who sustained an injury during Leg 3.

Blewett, who had taken time out from Alinghi to race with the Pirates of the Caribbean, commented “I am very disappointed because we were a late entry to the race and it has taken a lot of work to get The Black Pearl working well. We finally reached that point in Melbourne and gained a great deal on Leg 3. I am especially disappointed to miss out on this leg with the boys, because rounding the Horn is the soul of this race.”

On this, the second of the Southern Ocean legs, the Volvo Ocean Race has set two ice waypoints at 48 degrees South that have to be passed to starboard, to try and keep the yachts out of the most dangerous ice territory. There are opportunities for points to be made up at the scoring gate when rounding Cape Horn. Once The Black Pearl passes Cape Horn the team will start the journey back towards the Northern hemisphere. The Pirates of the Caribbean are expected to arrive in Rio on March 7th.


Erle Williams (NZ) – “A great deal has changed since I first participated in this race in 1981. The biggest change is in the technological development, in the early days, people raced the boats they had under IOR. It was more of an adventure than a profession.”

Jules Salter (UK) – “This will be my first time rounding Cape Horn. The challenge will be in keeping the boat in good shape and determining our best angle of approach for a fast rounding. Most of the ice reported thus far will be after we round Cape Horn.”

Robert Crockett, Director Buena Vista International New Zealand “It was a pleasure to welcome the crew of The Black Pearl to New Zealand, particularly given that there were four Kiwis onboard.”

Crew list

Paul Cayard (USA)

Jules Salter ( UK )

Justin ‘Juggy’ Clougher (AUS)

Justin Ferris ( NZ)

Rodney Arden (NZ)

Craig Satterthwaite (NZ)

Erle Williams (NZ)

Dirk de Ridder (NL)

Anthony ‘Youngster’ Merrington (AUS)

Jeremy Smith (NZ)

Current Leaderboard

[position/team name/skipper/race points to date]

1. TEAM ABN AMRO ONE, Mike Sanderson (NZL) 38.5 pts

2. TEAM ABN AMRO TWO, Sebastien Josse (FRA) 28 pts

3. Movistar, Bouwe Bekking (NED) 25 pts

4. Pirates of the Caribbean, Paul Cayard (USA) 21.5 pts

5. Brasil 1, Torben Grael (BRA) 20 pts

6. Ericsson Racing Team, Neal McDonald (GBR) 16.5 pts