Disney have agreed a sponsorship deal which will see a racing version of pirate ship the Black Pearl compete in the Volvo Ocean Race which launches later this month (12NOV05).

The movie studio will back the only American entry in the eight-month, 50,000 kilometre (31,000 mile) race as part of the promotion for Pirates Of The Caribbean: DEAD MAN'S CHEST.

The Black Pearl sailed to notoriety in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, with Johnny Depp at its helm and a compass which famously didn't point north.

DONALD EVANS, vice president of marketing and promotions for Buena Vista International - Disney's international film distribution arm, says, "Our compass is going to point in the direction of the finish line.

"With the first Pirates (film) we believe we elevated pirates to pirate chic. It's not about the pirates you knew about 10 years ago. It just seemed these things were meant to be together, these movies and this race."