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Pirates of the Volvo Ocean Race

Disney is co-sponsoring a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ entry in the race around the world

Disney is co-sponsoring a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ entry in the race around the world

Tinseltown is bringing buzz and glitter to the Volvo Ocean Race with a deal between the Walt Disney Company and Volvo to sponsor a “Pirates of the Caribbean” entry in the 2005-’06 race around the world.

“Hollywood can come to the Volvo Ocean Race, and the sport can come to Hollywood,” says race CEO Glenn Bourke. “A lot of good things can come of it.”

The Disney entry will carry the name Black Pearl and sail with a serious racing crew, but its sail and hull graphics will be vintage Hollywood — possibly the skull and crossed swords logo of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” due out in 2006.

Black Pearl will be American-flagged and will race with an American skipper and a number of American crewmembers. Bourke says it’s important to have an American entry in the race with the Volvo stopping in Annapolis, Md., and New York. The six other entries also will fly the flags of stopover countries: Brazil, Spain, Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands, which has fielded two entries for the race. Among the top candidates for skipper of the Black Pearl are San Franciscan Paul Cayard, winner of the 1997-’98 race on EF Language, Annapolis’ Chris Larson, tactician on 2001-’02 runner-up Assa Abbloy, and Volvo veteran Kimo Worthington, Bourke says.

He says Disney and Volvo (Volvo Car Corp. and AB Volvo) struck a marketing deal to co-sponsor the entry. The Volvo race will promote Disney’s movie before its release, and the Disney entry will draw non-sailors to race villages in the 10 ports where the 70-foot raceboats will stop.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Gore Verbinski, again will star Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow, Orlando Bloom as Will Turner, and Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann. Bourke says any of the stars could turn up to fill a guest berth on Black Pearl and race in around-the-buoys contests scheduled for each stopover.

Richard Brisius and Johan Salen’s Atlant Ocean Racing, which managed EF Language and Assa Abbloy, will manage Black Pearl and train its crew. Bourke says Black Pearl is already under construction.

The six-month, 31,250-nautical-mile Volvo Ocean Race starts Nov. 12 off Vego, Spain, and will stop in Cape Town, South Africa; Melbourne, Australia; Wellington, New Zealand; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Baltimore/Annapolis; New York; Portsmouth, England; Rotterdam, Netherlands; and finish in Goteberg, Sweden.