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.

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.

September Update

Just back from the first ever J Class World Championships, in Newport, RI. Absolutely one of the most incredible experiences of my sailing career.   These are rebuilt originals or newly built replicas of the majestic 130ft J boats that were raced in the 1930’s Americas Cups.   There has been a revival of the class, with up to eight of these boats now being actively raced. The class rules allow you only to build to original hull design plans, but you can use all modern technology for rigs and sails. So we now have this beautiful blend of old world design, mixed with the latest modern technology, and being raced as hard as you possibly can by some of the sports best sailors. It is an experience like no other. Absolutely the most challenging/scary/pleasurable driving role I have ever had, and some of the closest racing ever. All in some of the most beautiful sailboats ever designed. Quite the combination.

I sail onboard TOPAZ with a crew of over 30. This is only our third event together, and we still have hundreds of small steps to get this complicated boat even close to it’s full potential.   LIONHEART from Holland has been racing for 5 years and have a very complete package of boat and team, and they sailed very well to win the event. We finished fourth, but managed to win 2 of the seven races, so we had our moments of joy.

Some of the photos from the event are truly incredible.   To read more about the event and see some great photos, visit the J Class website at http://www.jclassyachts.com/events/j-class-world-championship-1

Up next for me is the final 52 Super Series event of the year onboard PROVEZZA in Mahon, Menorca, Spain in late September. We won our last event and so are hoping to continue the momentum and finish the year strong.

July Update

Traveling home now after finally, finally, wining a TP52 Super Series event in Porto Portals, Majorca, Spain. I say finally because we have been within reach on the final day in 4 of this year’s 5 events, but just couldn’t manage to close strong and win. But at this event we finally put it all together, and had the confidence and speed on the final day to get the job done.

I am particularly proud and happy with this win. First because it is the TP52 Super Series, which is the absolute highest level of big boat racing that exists today. Second, because of the great team that I achieved it with. PROVEZZA is a Turkish team crewed by a mix of amateur Turkish sailors and several pros like myself. To win against some of the all-pro teams that we were up against, brings back that special fight and reward of beating higher ranked teams, similar to what I tried to do from my little Virgin Islands nation. And finally, to win for Ergin Imre, the owner of our team, and one of the nicest gentlemen in the sport of sailing, proves that good guys really can win.

(http://www.52superseries.com)

So headed back home now for two weeks and then it’s off to Newport, RI for the J Class Worlds on the mighty TOPAZ. A couple weeks later it will be the final race of the season on PROVEZZA in Menorca Spain. A busy time of year, but I love it; the challenge, the competition, the people, and the traveling to great places. Feeling most fortunate.