Paul Cayard

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Paul Cayard
Paul Cayard Headshot.jpg
Personal information
Full namePaul Pierre Cayard
Born (1959-05-19) May 19, 1959 (age 61)
San Francisco, California, US
Sailing career
ClubSt. Francis Yacht Club

Paul Pierre Cayard (born May 19, 1959) is an American yachtsman and professional sailor. He has competed at multiple world championship level sailing events, including the America's Cup, the Whitbread Round the World Race, the Volvo Ocean Race and the Olympic Games. In 1998 he was selected as the US Rolex Yachtsmen of the Year. He has won seven world championships, twice participated in the Olympic Games and seven times in the America's Cup. In 2011 he was elected into the US Sailing Hall of Fame.


Paul Cayard was born in San Francisco, California. He began sailing in 1967 at the age of eight. He graduated in 1981 with a degree in business management from San Francisco State University. He speaks three languages: English, French and Italian. He enjoys flying and holds a pilots certification with instrument rating for single engine aircraft. Of all his sailing accomplishments, he counts his 1988 Star Class world championship as his most prized victory.[1]

Currently, Cayard serves as Chairman of the Board for St. Francis Yacht Club where he served as Chairman of Finance in 2018. He is an ambassador for the OneOcean Foundation and serves as Vice President of the International Star Class. He is also a member of the US Olympic Sailing Committee.

Cayard is a member of four international yacht clubs; St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, and Yacht Club de Monaco.[1]

Sailing career[edit]

From an early age Cayard showed great promise as a sailor, and by his early teens was successfully sailing high performance dinghies such as the International 505 and Laser. As Cayard grew and became more proficient in sailing, he gained the notice of Tom Blackaller, who invited Cayard to crew for him on his Star class sailboat. Blackaller would become an influential mentor, and the Star Class would become a lifelong passion for Cayard.

In 1984, Cayard was selected as an alternate in the Olympic Games for the USA sailing team. Sailing in the Star Class, he won the silver medal at the pre-Olympic regatta in 2003, going on to finish 5th at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens.

Cayard has competed in a broad range of ocean racing events with an impressive record. He has won the 1994 Kenwood Cup, the 1994 and 1996 Sardinia Cup, and the 1995 Admirals Cup. His top achievement in this arena was becoming the first American to win the Whitbread Round the World in 1997/1998 as skipper of EF Language. He beat out ten other yachts for the prize over a course of 32,000 miles (51,500 km).

As of 2006, Cayard competed in the Volvo Ocean Race as skipper of Pirates of the Caribbean syndicate sponsored by The Walt Disney Company in reference to the movie of the same name. Cayard Sailing, Inc. managed the syndicate. The team won the final leg into Gothenburg and finished the overall race in 2nd place.

In 2007, Paul Cayard and Russell Coutts announced the launch of the World Sailing League in partnership with internationally renowned Portuguese sports promoter, João Lagos. The World Sailing League (WSL) will be held at premier sailing locations around the world with the series winner receiving $2 million in prize money.

In 2009, Cayard joined Artemis Racing, owned by Torbjörn Törnqvist. Cayard was the Skipper of the Louis Vuitton Trophy team and Tactician onboard TP52 Artemis ( Artemis Racing became the Challenger of Record in the 34th America's Cup in 2010 and Cayard became CEO.

America's Cup[edit]

Cayard's first America's Cup was in 1983 aboard Tom Blackaller's Defender as a jib trimmer. Defender finished third in the defender selection series. For the 1987 America's Cup series, Cayard moved up to tactician and alternate helmsman on Blackaller's new boat USA, which lost out to Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes for the right to challenge for the cup.[2]

For the 1992 America's Cup, Cayard became manager and skipper of Il Moro di Venezia from Italy, a syndicate backed by Raul Gardini. In 1991, he won the first ever International America's Cup Class world championship. Over the months long challenger selection series, Cayard's team beat out seven other teams from six other countries to win the 1992 Louis Vuitton Cup and gain the right to challenge for the America's Cup. Part of the challenge included protests where Cayard successfully protested the employment of a bowsprit on the New Zealand challenge.

Though Il Moro di Venezia was outclassed in the America's Cup races by the faster America³, Cayard's expertise in sailing provided some memorable moments. In the second race of the series, his yacht won the start and maintained a small lead for the entire race. He employed classic match racing tactics throughout the race, and at the downwind finish managed to beat America³ by three seconds, producing what was at the time the smallest winning margin in cup history. Cayard went on to lose this series 4–1.

In 1995, Cayard rejoined an American effort for the America's Cup, joining Team Dennis Conner aboard Stars & Stripes as primary helmsman. Though Stars & Stripes was noticeably slower than other boats on the defender series, the syndicate managed to win the 1995 Citizen Cup for the right to defend the Cup. In an unprecedented move, Team Dennis Conner decided to use the faster yacht Young America from the PACT 95 syndicate to defend the Cup. Cayard and this syndicate ended up losing the Cup 5–0 to Team New Zealand, who had won the 1995 Louis Vuitton Cup.

With the change in venue and hemisphere for the Cup, the next America's Cup was not held until 2000. For the 2000 America's Cup, Cayard formed his own syndicate with backing from a number of sponsors and named it AmericaOne. The sponsoring yacht club was St. Francis Yacht Club of San Francisco. This syndicate competed against 14 challengers from 10 nations for the right to challenge for the Cup. AmericaOne reached the finals of the 2000 Louis Vuitton Cup racing against Prada for the right to challenge against Team New Zealand for the 2000 America's Cup. The final over the best of nine races was hotly contested, with neither yacht ever winning by more than two minutes. Prada won the first race, and AmericaOne the second. Prada went on to win the next two races, putting AmericaOne at a 3-1 disadvantage. AmericaOne then proceeded to win the next three races in a row and appeared on the brink of winning the Louis Vuitton Cup. However, equipment fatigue and failure proved decisive, several spinnakers were blown out, and Prada ended up winning the next two races and the series, 5–4, earning the right to challenge for the Cup. Prada ultimately lost in the America's Cup, 5–0 to the defender Team New Zealand.[3]

Following the conclusion of the 2000 America's Cup, Cayard recommended to the AmericaOne syndicate board of trustees that the syndicate should not compete for the 2003 America's Cup, citing significant financial and recruiting obstacles. Assets of AmericaOne were eventually sold to Larry Ellison who founded the Oracle Racing syndicate, later joining forces with BMW Racing to form Oracle BMW Racing, with Cayard as skipper. Cayard later was moved out of the skipper position into an administrative position and ultimately left the syndicate.[4][5]

In March 2007, Cayard was involved in the 2007 America's Cup as Technical Advisor to Desafio Espanol 2007. Cayard also commentated on the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup and on the 2007 America's Cup for La7, the Italian broadcast rights holder. On 12 October 2007, Cayard announced that he was joining Desafio Espanol as Sports Director for the 33rd America's Cup.

For the 33rd America's Cup, Cayard provided commentary for Eurosport and in 2009 joined Torbjorn Tornqvist's sailing on Artemis Racing for the TP52 and Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas. Cayard also helmed RC44 Katusha on the RC44 Championship Tour from 2010–2012.


As of 27 September 2015[6]
Year Competition Venue Position Event
1978 Star World Championships San Francisco, USA 4th Star class
1979 Star World Championships Marstrand, Sweden 17th Star class
1984 Star World Championships Vilamoura, Portugal 3rd Star class
1985 Star World Championships Nassau, Bahamas 3rd Star class
1987 Star World Championships Chicago, USA 3rd Star class
1988 Star World Championships Buenos Aires, Argentina 1st Star class
1991 IACC World Championship San Diego, 1st America's Cup
IOR 50 World Championship Japan, 1st Intl. 50' Class
1992 IYRU Match Racing World Championships Long Beach, USA 5th Match racing
Star World Championships San Francisco, USA 3rd Star class
1996 Star World Championships Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 4th Star class
2002 Star World Championships Marina del Rey, USA 4th Star class
Farr 40 World Championships Paradise Island, Bahamas 6th Farr 40 class
2003 ISAF Sailing World Championships Cadiz, Spain 8th Star class
2004 Star World Championships Gaeta, Italy 5th Star class
Olympic Games Athens, Greece 5th Star class
2005 Star Western Hemisphere Championships Nassau, Bahamas 1st Star class
2009 505 World Championships San Francisco, USA 6th 505 class
TP52 World Championships Palma, Spain 3rd TP52 class
2010 RC44 World Championships Puerto Calero, Spain 4th RC44 class
TP52 World Championships Valencia, Spain 4th TP52 class
2018 Star World Championships Oxford, USA 3rd Star class
  • Won the El Toro class North American championship in the under 18 category in 1975.
  • Won the Star class world championship in 1988.
  • Won the Maxi class world championship in 1988 aboard Il Moro di Venezia III.
  • Won the 1989 One Ton class world championship.
  • Won the 1991 50-foot world championship aboard Abracadabra in Japan.
  • 1991 Yachting magazine Yachtsman of the Year.
  • Won the Louis Vuitton Cup in 1992.
  • 1992 Rothmans Yachtsman of the Year.
  • Won the Citizens Cup in 1995 for the right to defend the America's Cup.
  • Won 1994 and 1996 Sardinia Cup (ocean racing)
  • Won 1994 Kenwood Cup (ocean racing)
  • Won the 1995 Admiral's Cup (ocean racing)
  • Won the 1996 International Level Class 40 world championship.
  • Won the 1999 Steinlager Cup.
  • Won the 1997/98 Whitbread Round the World Race (now known as the Volvo Ocean Race) as skipper of the Swedish entry EF Language.
  • 1998 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.
  • Won 2002 IMS world championship in Capri, Italy.
  • 2005-2006 Skippered 'Pirates of the Caribbean' in the Volvo Ocean Race, placing 2nd overall.
  • Tactician on board John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti, winner of the Farr 40 North American Championships 2004, US National Championships 2004, Pacific Coast Championships 2004, and West Coast Season Championships 2004.
  • 2010 Became CEO of Artemis Racing, Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup, which is backed by Torbjörn Tornqvist.
  • 2011 Inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in San Diego, CA.[7]
  • 2018 Star World Championship, Bronze
  • 2019 Inducted into Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Paul Cayard Profile". Cayard Sailing. Archived from the original on June 1, 2010.
  2. ^ History of the America’s Cup - The Cup Down Under
  3. ^ History of the America’s Cup - Big Boats Reborn
  4. ^ "Cayard Laments Oracle Move". CNN Inside Sailing. December 11, 2002.
  5. ^ Cayard: the AC From the Outside (en) Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Paul Cayard 2011 Inductee". Retrieved April 11, 2020.

External links[edit]