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Paul Cayard to helm ‘Pirate’ ship

AUG. 3 - Noted American sailor Paul Cayard announced yesterday that he would participate in the 2005-’06 installment of the Volvo Ocean Raceas skipper of the Black Pearl, a 70-foot yacht the Walt Disney Company will use to promote the sequel to its hit film, “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.”

Cayard, who is 46 and from San Francisco, is a seven-time sailing world champion and has competed in five America’s Cup campaigns. He was elected to the Sailing World Hall of Fame in 2002 and was the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in 1998. That year Cayard won the Volvo Ocean Race, known then as the Whitbread Round The World Race, aboard EF Language.

The Black Pearl, which is to be launched in London later this month, will help promote “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” scheduled to be released in the summer of 2006. Computer renderings of the Farr Yacht Design boat indicate it will feature a black and red hull, and sport a skull-and-crossbones graphic on its mainsail.

The 31,250-nautical-mile, six-month around the world Volvo Ocean Race is set to kick off on Nov. 12 from Vigo, Spain. Racers will make stops in Cape Town, South Africa; Melbourne, Australia; Wellington, New Zealand; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Baltimore; New York; Portsmouth, England; and Rotterdam, the Netherlands, before finishing in Gothenberg, Sweden in June 2006.

Jason Fell