Yet another solid podium finish for Pirates of the Caribbean today coming in 2nd. ABN Amro One won the race and have clinched 1st place overall now.

The day started with 20 knots from the North West. We started on the left side of the line because we wanted to go left. The sky was marked by large clouds which would influence the wind heavily all day. The first big cloud and shift was to the left and we had approximately a 1 minute lead at the first windward mark.

We held the lead until the second downwind leg when a large gust filled the race course with 28 knots of wind. Naturally, this was precisely when we had to gybe and we had the biggest masthead spinnaker up. Just as in Cape Town, we could not manage the gybe without broaching and shredding our spinnaker. ABN Amro One passed us there and the rest of the race stayed pretty much the same.

One of our problems has been the speed with which our keel “cants” 40 degrees one side to 40 degrees the other. We have improved our system greatly since Cape Town but we are still half the speed of ABN and Brasil1. This makes the maneuver of gybing in big breeze, and without the help of waves which allow the boat to surf, very difficult.

Brasil1 finished third and ABN Amro Two finished fourth. Ericsson and Brunel rounded out the fleet.

In the big scheme of things, we had a great day. We beat the other boats who we are racing for second place. Now there are just two legs and one inshore to go and we have added to our solid second overall.

Our guests today were; Lady Gabriella Windsor – God Mother of the Black Pearl, James Cracknell – 2 time gold medalist in rowing from the UK and Mackenzie Crook, an actor from Pirates of the Caribbean and a show in the UK called The Office. They had a great time on board as there was plenty of action and high speeds.

The forecast for Friday’s start of Leg 8 looks light which will be welcomed by the fleet. Sailing around the British Isles could be very rough indeed so getting out West to Ireland in gentle breezes will get us past a potentially very rough part of the 1400 mile leg. There will be a lot of day light on Leg 8 as we start at 50 North and get up almost to 60 North when we round Faire Isle, a small little island between Scotland and the Shetland Islands. I have been to Fair Isle before while training with EF 9 years ago so in a strange way I am looking forward to going there again.

Tomorrow we will prepare all the provisions for the Leg and tomorrow night will be the prize giving for Leg 7. Wednesday is a corporate sailing day for us with our friends from Disney UK. Thursday is off for the sailors and Friday at 1730 is the start of Leg 8.

Now I am off to a good Italian dinner as I am starving..a state that I am in almost continuously these days.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean