Paul Cayard with an update on VOR yacht Pirates of the Caribbean currently in Cascais
We have now been in port for 36 hours. I know there are a lot of stories,
rumors and thoughts going on around the water cooler so I thought I would
give you my perspective to add to your daily conversation. A couple of
1. This is a race on points not time. This is not the Tour de France.
This is more similar to the Formula 1 season where over 16 races, Michael
Schumacher may not even finish 3 or 4 of the 16 races and yet still win
the World Championship. There are 23 ‘events’ in this race ranging in
points value from 3.5 to 7. The maximum number of points available to be
won is 112.
2. These new Volvo 70s are hi-tech machines. They are going to break
down. Breaking down is not new to round the world racing. We are all
learning about what it takes to keep these things together.
3. We are going to return to the race and I feel that we have a good
chance to win this race.
Now, how to move forward
Option 1: Put a bandaid on the boat, sail for three weeks to Cape Town and
collect 1.5 points, or possibly a few more points if others breakdown on
this leg, arrive 1 day before the in-port race, and basically go into leg
2, one of the most difficult legs of the race, beat and not fully
Option 2: Ship the boat to Cape Town, do the repairs properly, proactively
seek out and improve the structural integrity of the boat in areas that
have not yet broken, sea trial the boat offshore for 3 days before leg 2,
and enter the in-port race and leg 2 properly prepared.
We are going for option 2
As I said in my e-mail of yesterday, I don’t think the breakdowns will be
confined to Movistar, Sunergy, and Pirates. I am not wishing any ill fate
on anyone, it is just the nature of these beasts. In fact, I wrote a note
today to all boats of the same design…Movistar, Brasil and Ericsson,
describing to them the damage we suffered and inviting them to call us or
our designer for more information if they want. I got a couple of nice
replies during the day from those teams also offering their assistance.
Now, when you have a challenge you find out what your team is made of.
I like what I am seeing. First, our team has set up an operation here in
Portugal is short order. Secondly, as tired as every one from the shore
team is having given everything they had to get the boat ready for
November 12th, they all changed their plans to go home and see their
families for a week and rode a bus for 6 hours on Sunday night to arrive
here at 0200 Monday morning.
And finally Disney and Pescanova are coming through like champs. Our
partner, Pescanova, has offered to support the cost of the flying the boat
to Cape Town, in fact it was CEO Manolo Fernandez’s suggestion. This will
gain us 12 days over a shipping option which will be used to get more work
done on our job list. Further we will attach other issue that are
concerning us so that we can leave for the southern ocean with as much
confidence as possible in the boat. For sure this is a luxury and we are
grateful for Pescanova’s help. I have been in touch with the Disney
executives who sit on our board over the past 36 hours and they are 100 per cent
behind us, and more resolute than before. Here is an e-mail from one of
our Disney team:
“Just want you to know the team here is following the events and
supporting you from afar. Wish I could be there to lend a hand and help.
If there is anything I can do from California (doubtful I know) don’t
hesitate to holler. Kimo I wanted to call you a bunch of times day one,
but felt best leave the ‘phones open and let you guys get the job done.
“Seems all the boats are having their challenges, ours came early and
thankfully close to land and the shore team. You all know better than
anyone it is a long journey to the end and this is nothing more than a
minor set back. Remember coming from the rear is only going to make this
better Pirate lore.”
So this is all part of the story. No one tells you how the story is going
to unfold when you start. You have to live it in all of its ups and
downs….that is the beauty of it and you play your hand as it is delt to
Pirates of the Caribbean