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In 2005, the Walt Disney Company and Volvo (Volvo Car Corporation and AB Volvo) entered into a unique film marketing deal for Pirates of the Caribbean II. The agreement included the creation of a competitive entry in the 31,250 nautical mile adventure - at the time the world's premier ocean race.


The announcement of the 'Pirates' boat ensured a high-profile US presence among the fleet for the eight-month epic sail around the world's great capes in the Southern Ocean — Africa's Cape of Good Hope, Australia's Cape Leeuwin, and South America's Cape Horn.


Glenn Bourke, the Volvo Ocean Race CEO, is quoted as saying: 'The excitement and intrigue which this entry brings to the race takes us to a whole new level in terms of global profile and exposure. To link up with a Hollywood icon such as the Walt Disney Company is a fillip for the event and for sailing in general.'


'The deal also underscores the value of the Volvo Ocean Race as a compelling marketing communications tool in the eyes of the commercial world. In terms of competition, I fully expect this team, proudly flying the flag of the United States, will be at the sharp end of the race for honours.'






Gore Verbinski, once again stared Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Orlando Bloom as Will Turner and Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann, as part of the winning line up that wooed so many followers. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, the spectacular follow-up to the international blockbuster released in 2003, was then currently being filmed in Los Angeles and the Caribbean and was due for release in July 2006 - so perfect timing.


Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, is quoted as saying: 'We're excited to be participating in the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race, which is very much like the 'formula one' of yacht racing. This is a fun and unique way to remind viewers all over the world that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will be sailing into theatres next summer. Given the film's high seas adventures and nautical themes, this marathon sporting event is a great way to make some waves and generate awareness among the millions of viewers.'


The 'Pirates' campaign was headed by Atlant Ocean Racing, the syndicate company of Richard Brisius and Johan Salen.








Disney made an excellent series of fantasy swashbuckler films based on the legendary haunt, Tortuga, and piracy, a formula that made Errol Flynn famous as a privateer for Good Queen Bess, romanticizing the plundering and treasure hunting, with British Naval officers as some of the antagonists.


The key players of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series are Johhny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow,  Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa, with Orlando Bloom as Will Turner.


The stories follow the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). Characters such as Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and Joshamee Gibbs (Kevin McNally) follow Jack, Will and Elizabeth in the course of the films.






1. The Curse of the Black Pearl July 9, 2003 $654,264,015 - Budget: $140 million 
2. Dead Man's Chest July 7, 2006  $1,066,179,725 - Budget: $225 million 


There was an increase in investment to return ratio after the entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, some of which may be attributed to the coverage of the event.



Skipper TBA
Designer Farr Yacht Design


  The 'Pirates of the Caribbean II' campaign will be headed by Atlant Ocean Racing, the syndicate company of Richard Brisius and Johan Salen. The boat will be built in Green Marine, Lymington, Hampshire.
  Read related stories:
21 Mar 2005
  A Pirate's Life
  Race veterans, Richard Brisius and Johan Salén from Sweden, who have achieved three podium finishes in the last three races, will manage this project. Sweden’s Magnus Olsson will also be involved, bringing his experience of five round the world races to the campaign. Construction will begin immediately at Green Marine in Lymington UK, overseen by Britain’s Jason Carrington who carried out a similar role with the Assa Abloy team for the last race.



  PREMIER CHALLENGE : (Australia) The Australian team, Premier Challenge, headed by Grant Wharington, has been joined by ING Real Estate as Construction Sponsor. This sponsorship alleviated any financial concerns during design and construction phase. Don Jones, has been appointed as Chief Designer and construction of the boat began in October 2004, with a planned launch date of early June 2005.





Up to 1 million people watched the start of the Volvo Ocean Race. With 70,000 people lining the dockside alone and 2,000 spectator boats out on the course area, the race got a magnificent send-off from the Spanish port of Vigo.

There was a bustle of excitement on the dock this morning in the Spanish port of Vigo as the crews hurried around making final preparations and saying goodbye to friends and family, before they headed off on the first 6,400 nautical miles of the race.

The final farewell was delivered in person by His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain, who greeted the crews on the dockside above the new breed of Volvo Open 70’s that were about to become their homes for the next 20 days.

On the Vigo dockside there was still one boat missing; the boat that was formerly known as ‘Premier Challenge’ and now as ‘Brunel Sunergy’ was still on her way to Vigo after clearing final measurement just yesterday. As the six teams made their way off the dock, Grant Wharington and his crew, which also saw final changes this morning, had just arrived at the start.

At 14 00 HM King Juan Carlos I fired the starting gun onboard the Swedish ship Göthenborg and finally the months of waiting were over. Ericsson and Pirates of the Caribbean shot off the start line under spinnaker and led the charge to the first mark. With the breeze light and shifty there was some clear differences in boat speed, and like the in-port race last weekend which took place in similar conditions, Ericsson proved speedy and was first to round, followed by Paul Cayard’s Pirates of the Caribbean and home favourites movistar skippered by Bouwe Bekking.

The course then took the teams back through the start line which provided a fantastic spectator opportunity, especially as the breeze picked up under a rain cloud to 17 knots. Again it was Neal McDonald and his team onboard Ericsson who were first through the gate followed by movistar, who had overtaken Pirates of the Caribbean on the close hauled reach through the start line. Third to go through was Pirates, followed by ABN AMRO ONE, Brasil 1, ABN AMRO TWO and finally Brunel Sunergy.

As the teams head out of the Ria de Vigo followed by a small army of hospitality boats, media boats and spectators, the order has not changed and Ericsson leads the charge to Cape Town followed by movistar, who has made up some ground on the leader, and then Pirates of the Caribbean.

The first 24 hours of the race is due to be a physical one as the forecast is likely to build and for the crew’s first night they could have 30 knots of wind. Already the wind has increased and there are 2-3 metre high waves which the boats are crashing through. There is much talk of 24 hour records being broken on the first Leg and only time will tell if this prediction is true.

Even though the boats are out of site, they are never out of mind with the new Volvo Ocean Race website.


Log on to to get the latest action and position reports from current races in 2020.




  TELEFÓNICA MOVISTAR: (Spain) will take part in the race by entering a team from Galicia. Telefónica MoviStar, the leading Spanish telecoms company, is the major sponsor of the syndicate, with additional funding coming from other companies.  Telefónica MoviStar has been supporting former America's Cup skipper Pedro Campos with his IMS race boat campaigns for several seasons.




Skipper Neal McDonald (GBR)
Designer Farr Yacht Design
  Race veterans, Richard Brisius and Johan Salén from Sweden, who have achieved three podium finishes in the last three races, will manage this project. Sweden's Magnus Olsson will also be involved, bringing his experience of five round the world races to the campaign. Construction will begin immediately at Green Marine in Lymington UK, overseen by Britain's Jason Carrington who carried out a similar role with the Assa Abloy team for the last race.



Ericsson Racing Team leads Volvo Ocean Race out of Spain

The first offshore leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06 kicked off today from Vigo, Spain, a 6,400 nautical mile trek to Cape Town, South Africa. The Ericsson Racing Team (SWE) had a first class start to the leg and led the fleet out of Spain, headed for the first scoring gate, Fernando de Noronha.

The atmosphere in the race village was electric this morning, as friends and family kissed goodbye to loved ones and crowds of spectators took to the water. The fleet slipped the dock at 11.30 local time under grey skies and light winds. The start guns fired at 2.00 and the fleet headed on a short run in the Ria de Vigo to a turning mark at the end of the bay.

Ericsson got off to a good start in the middle of the pack but Pirates (USA) and movistar (ESP) just sneaked ahead. Cayard and his team were the first to jibe and take advantage of the wind shift. But one jibe further, Ericsson managed to cover Pirates and take the lead.

McDonald and his team executed first class crew work and rounded the first mark 47 seconds ahead of Pirates and 1 min 10 seconds ahead of movistar. As they headed back upwind, Ericsson was first to meet the new 12 knot breeze and flew across the passing gate. By the time they reached the third gate they led movistar and Pirates with a small advantage.

A great start for Ericsson Racing Team but they still have over 6000 nautical miles ahead and anything could change. The teams will be keen to reach Fernando de Noronha as quickly as possible, where they can pick up points from this first scoring gate. The northerly winds are expected to build steadily overnight Saturday and into Sunday, so the first 24 hours could be very fast!


Magnus Olsson, Technical Director, for the Ericsson Racing Team and five times veteran of the Volvo / Whitbread race, gave his report on the start: "Ericsson, Pirates and movistar all had a fantastic start and showed great boat handling. On their way to the first mark, the Ericsson crewmembers were very smart to avoid windless patches, get closer to the leading boats and finally take the lead. This will be a big battle. I guess that the three leading boats will stay ahead for the next 12 hours, then everything is open."



Skipper Mike Sanderson (NZ)
Designer Juan Kouyoumdjian

(Youth Team)
Skipper TBA
Designer Juan Kouyoumdjian
  ABN AMRO : (The Netherlands) has entered two boats into the Volvo Ocean Race. Both boats are designed by Argentinean, Juan Kouyoumdjian. Irishman, Killian Bushe, builder of illbruck, the winner in 2001-02, is constructing both boats. It is a three year project, with a budget of approx. EUR 20 million.

The crew of the first boat are professionals, but the second boat will have an international crew of promising young men and women aged between 21 and 30.



TEAM ABN AMRO set sail for Cape Town in spectacular exit from Spain

Eighteen months of hard work and preparation finally came to an end today as the two ABN AMRO boats slipped their lines in Spain for the last time and started the first offshore leg of the 2005/6 Volvo Ocean Race. The wind, which is predicted to reach up to 30 knots this evening, gave the crews a hint of things to come when gusts reached around 15 knots. This also gave the ABN AMRO boats an opportunity to show the assembled masses a small glimpse of the raw power that these boats will reach in the right conditions.

After the final goodbyes from family and friends, for TEAM ABN AMRO thoughts quickly turned to what lay ahead – for ABN AMRO ONE they have an opportunity to prove how much they have learnt from the meticulous preparation and hard work and for ABN AMRO TWO it is their chance to show that they are not just the ‘young’ team but are indeed a force to be reckoned with in this race.

Mike Sanderson, Skipper of ABN AMRO ONE said, as he left the dock: “This is it. This is our chance to show what we have created and I am looking forward to it. I would like to thank everyone who has helped us get to this point where we have two such fantastic boats on the start line – it is now our turn to go out there and do what we can to win this race. It will not be easy and there are a lot of miles to go but we are all up for it. ”

Seb Josse, skipper of ABN AMRO TWO said: “We have a great team here - we are not the most experienced of crews but I think that with these new boats and in this race anything can happen. All the guys are ready to go and we just want to get out and show what we can do – for many of ABN AMRO TWO this is their first round the world race and we are ready for the challenge. I think it is going to be an exciting ride.”

As the boats sailed the first lap around the bay before heading out to the open sea, it was tight and tactical racing for all the teams, none of whom wanted to give anything away in this early stage. It was once again first blood to Ericsson who have already shown that these conditions suit them however, ABN AMRO ONE and TWO both accelerated as the wind picked up and started the 6,500 miles to Cape Town.

During his race commentary, Guy Swindells said, "It wasn't the quickest of starts for the TEAM ABN AMRO boats but just now and again when the breeze picks up you see signs of powerful acceleration from these two boats. It is also clear that the double rudder is giving the boats an advantage. One rudder is always fully submerged, keeping these powerful boats on course".



  BRAZIL 1 (Brazil)
  BRAZIL 1 : (Brazil) Brazilian Star Class World Champion Alan Adler will lead Brasil 1 with Torben Grael as helmsman. The team has secured the majority of its funding and plans to announce its designers and builders once discussions with sponsors are concluded in due course.  Designers under consideration are Farr Yacht Design and Mani Frers.

Thank you Vigo & Spain from movistar skipper

What a great day!!!!! It was good that it was raining, a nice cover up for the teardrops in ours eyes. It didn't look very promising windwise, but just in time the breeze picked up to get us at least sailing over the start line. An unbelievable site from our perspective, the thousands of spectators boats and not to forget all the people on the shore.

A bit of cat & mouse and some position changes, but we left the heads in close second, and soon rolled over the top of Ericsson, getting out in the deep blue ocean. Had our first squall, winds up to 30 knots. Did our first difficult sail change , the guys up front covered under water, but it went perfect, big grins on our faces.

We still can still see all the boats, except the Australian boat. ABN1 is to leeward and having the biggest headsail up, they are slipping along nicely, but they are not in the direction we want to go.

Another sail change, have to run, love to al the family and friends we left behind us.

cheers,  Bouwe  [Bouwe Bekking skipper movistar]




SANXENXO In-port race 05-Nov-05  
VIGO Leg 1 START 12-Nov-05 Distance 6,400 nm
CAPE TOWN Leg 1 FINISH 04-Dec-05  
  In-port race 26-Dec-05  
  Leg 2 START 02-Jan-06 Distance 6,100 nm
MELBOURNE Leg 2 FINISH 19-Jan-06  
  In-port race 04-Feb-06  
  Leg 3 START 12-Feb-06 Distance 1,450 nm
WELLINGTON (Pitstop) Leg 3 FINISH 17-Feb-06  
  Leg 4 START 19-Feb-06 Distance 6,700 nm
  In-port race 25-Mar-06  
  Leg 5 START 02-Apr-06 Distance 5,000 nm
  In-port race 29-Apr-06  
  Leg 6 START 07-May-06 Distance 400 nm
NEW YORK (Pitstop) Leg 6 FINISH 09-May-06  
  Leg 7 START 11-May-06 Distance 3,200 nm
  In-port race 29-May-06  
  Leg 8 START 03-Jun-06 Distance 1,500 nm
ROTTERDAM Leg 8 FINISH 09-Jun-06  
  In-port race 11-Jun-06  
  Leg 9 START 15-Jun-06 Distance 500 nm


Traditionally the race has always begun in the UK, and the first change comes with the inclusion of Vigo as the start port, details of which will be published nearer to the start of the event.

After an inshore race in Sanxenxo, Galicia, 
the first leg will start from the neighbouring port of Vigo and take the fleet south, via a scoring gate at Fernando da Noronha, on the Brazilian coast, to Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town has been a natural part of previous races given its geographical location where two of the world's great oceans meet, and thereby a logical destination for leg one.

Leg two will be the first test of the Southern Ocean. Historically, the event has always been known and respected for its long ocean legs, taking the event far south into the Southern Ocean. It is racing across this lonely ocean that allows the sailors to use their experience and push their boats to the limit and it is generally considered to provide the most exciting ocean racing in the world. To make it even more exciting, we have introduced a scoring gate at the Kerguelen Islands and another at Eclipse Island, off Albany on the west coast of Australia. The leg finish will be in Melbourne, Australia.





The Ocean Race Summits Newport brings leaders together to focus on ocean health

Hosted live from Newport, RI, the latest online iteration of The Ocean Race Summits promoted solutions to restore health to the ocean.

“We can solve this.”

That was how Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island concluded his remarks as he addressed over 680 registered participants at The Ocean Race Summits event hosted out of the Sail Newport facility in his home state.

The Senator was among an engaging and diverse group of international experts, youth leaders and changemakers brought together to tackle the challenges facing our ocean and to develop and share solutions that promote the restoration of ocean health.

“For many generations, we have been takers from the ocean and we have to change our mindset and be caretakers of the oceans,” the Senator said.

“People have to put their mind to think about oceans in order to appreciate the work that needs to be done. But it can be done. It has to be done rapidly and with intention. But we can solve this.”

The Ocean Race Summits aim to bring the spirit and values of ocean racing - leadership, resilience, tenacity, collaboration - to bear on the challenges facing the health of our ocean.

Using an innovative and engaging online platform, including eight collaborative Action Labs focused on developing and sharing solutions, as well as Live Q+A and Networking sessions, the Summit tackled challenging issues head-on with an emphasis on action and results.

“The ocean is the most important ecosystem in our life,” said José María Figueres, the former prime minister of Costa Rica and co-founder of Ocean Unite. “Without a healthy ocean there is no life on the planet.”

Mr. Figueres pointed to increasing the number of Marine Protected Areas, stopping climate change, and reaching an international agreement on governance of the High Seas as critical pathways towards restoring ocean health.

World renowned sailors Mark Towill (USA), CEO of the 11th Hour Racing Team, and Peter Burling (NZL), an Olympic gold medalist and America’s Cup winner who was inspired to start an ocean foundation after competing in the 2017-18 edition of The Ocean Race, spoke about leveraging sport to make a positive impact.

“We want to demonstrate that being competitive at top level sport and prioritizing sustainability are not exclusive,” Towill said. “It is to our benefit to be leaders in this space and to encourage others to join in… We’re at a tipping point and we want our team to be driving change.”

“What scared me most during the last edition of The Ocean Race was what I didn’t see - the lack of whales, albatross, tuna, compared to the stories I heard about in the past,” said Burling, a co-founder of Live Ocean, which focuses on ocean protection and restoration. “The difference to where we are now is pretty scary and it shows how urgent the issue is.”

The Ocean Race Summits have been developed in collaboration with 11th Hour Racing, an organization that establishes strategic partnerships to promote collaborative, systemic change benefitting the health of the ocean. Co-founder, Wendy Schmidt (USA), explained how this moment is a critical opportunity to contribute to science and to shift public perception about what ocean health means.

“At 11th Hour Racing we’re working with The Ocean Race to reach audiences around the world - whether online, at Summits, or at Exploration Zones at stopover cities during the next Race - and changing their perceptions,” said Schmidt, who is a philanthropist and investor, as well as a competitive sailor.

“Together we have a unique opportunity to join the sport we love with the science we need for the ocean.”

Youth leaders and young ocean ambassadors were enlisted to moderate Live Q+A sessions with panelists and registered participants, with the future leaders making a mark.

"I am hopeful because there is a wave of renewed interest in ocean issues, especially among the younger generations," concluded Figueres. "And I am very optimistic because the more we share knowledge about these issues, as is an objective of The Ocean Race, the more we become committed to these causes."

The Ocean Race Summits are a series of solutions-focused events bringing together leaders from a wide range of fields to target the restoration of ocean health. The current series of Summits started in Genoa, Italy last autumn, with a second online and virtual event based out of The Hague in May. Up to ten events will be held before the conclusion of the next edition of The Ocean Race.


Richard Brisius, Race Chairman, The Ocean Race:


“There are more questions than answers, but I am optimistic and hopeful for a bright future, in particular after this Summit filled with people driven by their aspiration to contribute to a healthier planet.

“And we must not waiver now, we have to stay on course, as it is often during the hard times that we see teams win races, thanks to great leadership, team spirit, and just pushing harder towards what they believe in.

“If I would ask for one thing that you all can do right now, that would be to pick one solution or learning from the Summit, and tell your colleagues, family and friends about it.”

Philippe Cousteau, Multi Emmy-Nominated TV host and producer, award winning author and co-founder of Earth Echo International:


“Today we need to be much savvier and recognize we have to go to our audience. So we need to be thinking about a much broader spectrum of education and PR communications. We need to be on scripted television. We need to be in animated and leveraging technology like virtual reality, not just your natural history documentaries, which isn't enough anymore. So you'd be thinking bigger, broader and more diverse.”

“I believe that we need to be thinking more about how we build relevance around these issues. People relate to people. And so understanding these world leaders that when we talk about ocean conservation, we're talking about climate change... We should be talking more about how this is impacting people and impacting people's lives. Not in the future. But right now.”

Michelle Bender, Ocean Rights Manager, Earth Law Center:


“We cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet. And even the concept, sustainable growth, it's very anthropocentric. It's based on human utility and benefit. So our current system treats economic growth and development as above and with more significance than the health of the environment and the health of our local communities. But we know that, in fact, we can't survive or realise our own human rights without a healthy environment to support them. So what we need is really a paradigm shift and to view our economic system as a subsystem embedded within the earth's, larger ecosystem.”

Karen Sack, President & CEO, Ocean Unite:


“Often we try to join together with people who we all agree with and that isn't the way to drive change. Change needs to make us feel uncomfortable. And through that discomfort, we can move forward. So we need people who are members of the team who all come from different backgrounds.

“Just like on a yacht, you have a crew with different skill sets. So in a campaign, you need the policy wonks, the campaign specialists, the communications specialists and, of course, the devil's advocate to question everything all the time.

“You've got to develop the strategy and roll out those tactics, and you've got to recognise that the external environment is going to change all the time. But that is the way to drive forward and to make the kind of change in campaigning that we need to see.”





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Kiera Knightly as Miss Elizabeth Swann in an absolutely stunning outfit




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