Welcome to Peter Holmberg's official website. Peter's singular commitment to performance sailing has earned him an Olympic medal, the World No. 1 rank in Match Racing, and victory in the America's Cup, the oldest trophy in all of sport. The Caribbean's most famous sailor is living proof that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things. Peter now bases himself in the Virgin Islands and offers professional sailing, consulting, and speaking services to clients world-wide.

2018 Final Wrap

One could not pick a better way to wrap up the 2018 racing season than by racing the J Class yacht Topaz in the Voiles de St. Tropez.  We were placed in the modern IRC class with 24 other yachts, but mainly focussed on the boat similar to us, our rival J Class Valsheda.  We had some great racing all week, and managed to beat them, finish 9th in class, and win the Loro Piana Trophy for top Superyacht.

The Voiles de St. Tropez is truly one of our sports greatest festivals of sailing, combining modern race yachts with some of the most elegant classics afloat.  Everyday was a sight to be seen with the horizon filled with the full spectrum of racing to classic yachts.  And all in the quaint and beautiful town of St. Tropez.

Thank you Topaz and team for a fantastic year.  Now it’s time to head back to my lovely Virgin Islands for some time off.

And a special thanks to my partners Outremer, North Sails, Mastervolt, B&G, Harken, and Marina Menorca.

September Update

Just finished the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo, Sardinia on the J Class yacht Topaz.  We had a fantastic battle all week in our class, especially against the two other J’s, Svea and Valsheda, and managed to come out on top by just one point.  This definitely ranks as one of my sweetest wins ever.  A truly great team spirit onboard and effort by everyone, proving that team is what matters most.  Epic battles on the water, truly majestic boats to be racing, and the waters of Sardinia all add up to make this one really special.

I now have a couple days off before my next TP52 event in Valencia, so getting to enjoy my Outremer 45 on my new favorite island of Menorca.

Special thanks to my partners Outremer, North Sails, Mastervolt, B&G, Harken, and Marina Menorca.

July Update

Just wrapped up a very wild and windy event at the TP52 World Championships in Cascais, Portugal.  We are still behind in all areas of development with our new boat and as a crew, so we didn’t have a flash result. But we had some incredible sailing, learned heaps, and have a great challenge ahead trying to get the boat and ourselves up to full potential.  I now have a couple weeks off before our next event in Palma, so a nice chance to re-charge my batteries and enjoy life in Menorca where I am based for the racing season.  A special thanks to my partners for helping make my European summer base possible- Outremer, North Sails, B&G, Mastervolt, and Marina Menorca.

 

Hey from Croatia

Just finished 10 days of racing in the opening 52 Super Series event of 2018 in Sibenik, Croatia on the new PROVEZZA.  Unfortunately due to a late launch and delivery, we did not get sufficient time to complete testing of the new custom bits onboard and we had several equipment failures during racing that cost us dearly.  But on the positive side, the new design showed great speed potential, so once we get the systems sorted, we should be competitive.  Also on the plus side is that we did not rack up a terrible amount of points in this “bad” regatta for us, so we still have a fair chance at a good overall season result.

And Croatia was fantastic.  Endless islands, rich history, nice weather, and lovely people.  A lovely place that i intend to return to and spend time enjoying on my Outremer 45 in the near future!

Next up on the 52 Circuit is another event in Croatia in a couple weeks, this one in Zadar.  We are busy fixing things on our boat and hope to be running at full strength for this next event.  Hopefully we’ll have an opportunity to see the full potential of our new boat.

New TP52 Provezza Launched

We just finished one week of sea trials and training in Ancona, Italy following the launch of the new TP52 PROVEZZA.  Everything went well and early impressions are all very good.  The only issue is that we are very short on time to complete the final details and get the necessary sailing time prior to the start of the season due to the late delivery of the boat.   All the other teams are ahead of us on this front, having launched months and weeks earlier than us, so we will have to work hard and smart to catch up to them as quickly as possible.  I would hope that by the second event we can be racing at full strength.

Nine teams have built new boats for this upcoming season, so it will be an exciting period to see new design concepts tested, and how quickly teams get their boats up to full speed.  Seven boats come from the Botin design office, and two are from the Vrolijk design office.  Provezza and Platoon are the 2 Vrolijk designs.

Our season opens in Sibenik, Croatia in 2 weeks, and the second event is 3 weeks later just down the coast in Zadar.  

So exciting and busy times ahead, and really looking forward to it all.  More info at 52superseries.com and www.provezza.net

April 2018 Update

An update before I get really busy racing again.  This is the first chapter of my new campaign of basing myself in Europe on my new Outremer 45 catamaran for the entire summer racing season, and it has been great.  I chose Mahon, Menorca in the Balearic Islands as my starting point based on the nice impressions from racing here on two previous occasions.  And it has proven to be everything and more than I hoped it would be.  It’s small and quiet which suits me, plus it’s beautiful, friendly, and is perfect for mountain biking and hiking.  So I’m super happy with it and will make it my base for this first year onboard.

I found a great marina here that will allow me to travel to my events and know that my boat is safe and in good hands.  Marina Menorca has several dock and mooring options to choose from, plus a lovely team that are very friendly and helpful.  They have been great to work with and have made my stay here super easy.

A few words about my partners in this cat project.  I chose the Outremer 45 because it looked “right” for my goal of having that nice balance of performance and comfort.  I did my research and talked to current owners, and Outremer ticked all the boxes.  And now after my first 4 weeks of living onboard, I could not be any happier with my choice.  Thank you Outremer.

For my sails, I decided to work with the team at North Sails.  We use North Sails on all of my race programs, so I am very aware of the quality and performance of their technology, and it was the obvious choice for me.  Working together, we designed an inventory of sails that would suit my exact needs- performance, durability, and a smart inventory of sail cross-overs that I could achieve the full range, with the least number of sails.  With weight of sails being a big factor on catamaran performance, plus sailing short-handed most often, this was important.  I have now sailed over 250 miles in the full range of conditions and am totally happy with my choice of North Sails.

The other important component needed to achieve the performance that i wanted from my cat was my instrument and navigation package.  For this I chose B&G, and have been pleasantly surprised with every new feature i discover each time i use it.  The range of features, accuracy, and ease of use makes B&G stand out from all the others, and I am continually being impressed with their product.

For my power systems onboard I chose Mastervolt and their Lithium Ion batteries.  In addition to the standard panel to control your onboard electronics, Mastervolt has an EasyView control display that allows me into the entire network onboard and the ability to control and diagnose ever single electronic item onboard.  Truly amazing.

And my final partner in this project are my good friends at Harken.  Since I was going to be the one cranking in my fancy new sails, and not calling out to my grinders to man-up and just wind harder, I knew that I had to pick the best ones.  I have six of their latest models onboard, and life is easy.  I can’t understand what this grinders are always whining about!

Now I head off to Bodrum, Turkey for a training session with our TP52 team, followed shortly thereafter by the launching of our new boat in Italy early next month.  Then the TP52 Superseries kicks off in Croatia in late May and the busy racing season gets fully underway.  

Looking forward to a great season of racing, all based from my new floating home here in Menorca, with very special thanks to all my partners in this project, and my new best friends at Marina Menorca.

St. Barths Bucket

Just back from racing the 2018 St. Barths Bucket on the J Class yacht TOPAZ.  One day of windward-leewards followed by three days of around the island races.  A typical highlight was race 2 where all three J’s shot the finish line together and finished overlapped after over an hour of racing. Truly a special occasion to be racing these incredible yachts around the magical island of St. Barths.

Outremer 45 HUMBUG

I have just arrived in Mahon on the island of Menorca after taking delivery of my new Outremer 45 Humbug.  This will be my floating home for the next six months while I race in Europe.  A huge thank you to my brother John who helped with every aspect of the commissioning and the delivery from France. And a special thanks to my partners in this exciting project- Outremer, North Sails, B&G, Harken, and Mastervolt. Absolutely the best, each and every one of them. And Mahon is a wonderful place this time of year and the perfect spot to start this exciting new journey.

2018

Looking back on the previous year and ahead at the next is a healthy process that I do every year. On the race course 2017 was a great year. My two race programs were both successful, and immensely enjoyable.

The TP52 class where I drive Provezza is the worlds top grand prix racing class these days, and I am very fortunate to be a part of our sport at such a high level. We have a wonderful team, unique in that we sail with the owner and some of his best mates onboard, which speaks volumes to the character of the team. In a class that is 99% professional, we take great pride in competing at this level with our mixed team of pros and amateurs. It is a greater challenge for us, and it is also a greater reward. We finished 4th for the 2017 season, wining one event, and nearly winning several others.

The year ahead is a huge growth year for the class, with 9 new boats being built, and several new teams joining the class. We are one of the teams with a new boat under construction, and have a challenging and exciting new-boat learning process ahead of us.   I particularly look forward to this interface between the sailors and the design team, where we as the sailors are given a new and untested platform and must use our collective knowledge and skill to test different modes and settings to get the boat to it’s full design potential. This human factor is the greatest variable on the table in front of us, and I relish the opportunity to learn all we can with my teammates over the coming months.

The 52 Super Series 2018 schedule is an exciting one, starting in May, finishing in September, with two events in Croatia, one in Portugal, and two in Spain. The website for the series is quite good, with stories on all the teams, live race coverage, and results. http://www.52superseries.com

My other prized race program is the J Class yacht Topaz. These are replicas of early 1900 America’s Cup boats that are being built to original designs, but incorporating the very latest technology and materials. It is a fantastic class that is seeing a huge revival and interest from new owners. All of the boats are crewed by the best sailors in the world, and being raced at the highest levels. Racing these huge 140 foot yachts with 25-30 crew presents some of the greatest challenges in racing, and the experience is this wonderful combination of nostalgia for the incredible history of these boats and our sport of sailing, mixed with some of the most intense, dangerous, and close racing ever seen. Gets my heart pounding just thinking about it. We have a wonderful team led by our German owners that put spirit, camaraderie, and friendship on equal level of importance to results. It was our first year racing together as a team in 2017 and we made great strides throughout the year. We have put all we learned into some upgrades and changes to the boat, and look forward to improving our performance even more in 2018. Our race season starts in St. Barths and continues to Palma, Sardinia, and finally St. Tropez.

On a personal level, 2017 was one hell of a year, with two category 5 hurricanes hitting my home in the Virgin Islands. Physically I survived, the home that I built held strong, with the only major damage being a hole blasted into my roof when an entire roof from another house blew over the hill and hit me. But the emotional blow is what can’t be seen, and it is a long process, that rocks you at first, but ultimately makes you a stronger person, and a better society. We must all look past the difficulty and towards the fresh start that ultimately comes. It may sound cruel, but I truly believe that these hurricanes make our islands and our people better. Post-traumatic growth is a very real phenomena, and can be very rewarding.

And on another personal note, I am very excited to be taking delivery of my new floating home in February. An Outremer 45 will be my new home for the six months that I spend primarily racing in Europe. It has been a dream to own a catamaran one day to travel and explore the world, and I chose the Outremer 45 catamaran based on it’s design and solid reputation. She is a performance cruiser that should perfectly satisfy my desire for a fast and comfortable home. I have been greatly supported in this project by my good friends at North Sails who helped me find that perfect balance of fast and durable sails. Also helping me take this huge leap has been Outremer, B&G, Master Volt, and Harken. It is a great team of partners that I will support in providing feedback and helping to make their products better.

Here’s to wishing all of us a wonderful 2018.

 

October 2017

Well it’s been quite a month since my last post. In early September I was hit by two Category 5 hurricanes at my home in the Virgin Islands. Pretty scary when you have 150-200mph winds and you’re hoping the house you built can withstand it all. My home held up great, but someone else’s roof hit me in the peak of the storm and blasted a hole in my roof. Well at least we had plenty of spare roof tin lying around to patch my roof with when it was all over!! But quite an experience, especially the aftermath when you are on a small island that is totally devastated. It becomes basic survival living, with no power for months, uncertain fuel and food supplies, neighbors all chipping in and helping each other, lots and lots of hard work, and learning how to get by with very little. But this is all a part of living in paradise, and hopefully we will come back smarter and stronger in the end.

With our airport wiped out, I now had a slight issue with getting to my next event in Spain nine days later! Eventually I went by boat to Puerto Rico that had a functioning airport (at the time) and made it to Spain only one day late for training.

This was our final regatta of the 52 Super Series on Provezza and we were laying in 4th for the season, with a big gap in front of us to 3rd, but only a small gap behind with several teams chasing us. The regatta was in Mahon on the island of Menorca, which is my new favorite place in Europe, but the conditions this late in the year can be quite unstable. We had great winds for our training days, but very tricky and unstable conditions for most of the regatta, making the tactics very difficult. We sailed a pretty good regatta, had our fair share of bad luck, finished 6th, but took care of our #1 priority of beating our closest rivals in order to hang on to our 4th position for the season.   This is the best ever result for our team in the 52 Super Series, so we are pleased with the final outcome, and the upward trend in our performance.

So a very enjoyable and successful race season in 2017, and many exciting projects to look forward to in 2018.