It was a tough battle to the finish but the Pirates stayed strong, and finished in second place, just 30 minutes ahead of AMN ARMO TWO after the longest, toughest leg of the race. The Pirates of the Caribbean finished Leg 4 at 07.06 UTC, moving the team into third position overall in the Volvo Ocean Race.
With a winning start out of Wellington, the Pirates of the Caribbean team dominated centre stage the whole leg. It was a close race the entire leg and just a few hours before the finish Brasil 1 joined in the jostle for the finish, but were soon passed by ABN AMRO TWO. However, the Pirates refused to loosen their grip and captivated their awaiting audience by pulling out the stops to claim second place. The Pirates were welcomed into Rio in true Brazilian style.
“The weather at the end was phenomenal! There were horrid squalls out there and we were constantly changing sails to keep up with the changing conditions. With our hard earned second place in jeopardy, we stopped the watch system 20 hours before the finish to give it all we had. A great effort after 6,700 miles and 21 days! I am very proud of the way the guys responded to the challenge,” commented Skipper Paul Cayard.
Before leaving for Leg 4, and arguably the toughest leg of the race, Cayard felt that The Black Pearl was ready to challenge the opposition and give his team its well-deserved glory. Upon arriving in Rio de Janeiro, Cayard explained the hard and fast racing at the end: “We knew for a couple of days what would happen, that the weather would bring the trailing yachts up to us. It was pretty tight at the end with Brasil 1 and then with AMN AMRO TWO.”
“We’ve got a good boat and a fast team – we’re very solid. It’s satisfying from a management perspective to see the Pirates of the Caribbean team and project coming together so well. We were happy with our performance in the Melbourne inport race and 3rd into Wellington. We worked really hard as a crew and with the shore team; finding an answer to the keel ram problems and adopting different solutions than movistar and Ericsson,” continued Cayard. The Black Pearl sailed close to 8,000 nautical miles on Leg 4, including the notorious Cape Horn. For Cayard, this was his third time rounding Cape Horn and whilst nerve-wracking, it is ultimately the most exhilarating milestone to achieve. “To get the boat safely through the Southern Ocean weighed fairly heavily on me as we departed Wellington. The Southern Ocean, for me, is the reason for doing the Volvo Ocean Race; it