81.8 F
Cruz Bay
Tuesday, September 27, 2022


Peter Holmberg won't be the only St. Thomas sailor competing to challenge New Zealand in the 2000 America's Cup.
Fellow St. Thomian Ben Beer has signed on as crew of America True.
While the V.I. America's Cup Challenge mounted locally three years ago has been abandoned, just about everyone knows that world-ranked match racer Holmberg will unofficially represent the Virgin Islands in the competition, as a crew member of Dennis Conner's challenge.
America True is the San Francisco Yacht Club's challenge.
All of the challenge syndicates that survive the technical and financial rigors of competition will face off in the Louis Vuitton Challenge in New Zealand next year to determine the boat that will sail against New Zealand for the America's Cup.
Beer's sailing experience dates from babyhood. His parents are Bill and
Sue Beer, who pioneered tourist daysailing in the U.S. Virgin Islands with the yacht True Love. His crib, he told the V.I. Independent, was a box that fit in the passageway between the galley and the main salon of the boat.
He won his first sailing regatta at 9 years of age and was crewing in adult regattas by age 12, starting out on St. Thomas sailor Ernesto Marzano's J29, Alligator. He competed for the territory in the Caribbean
Dinghy Championships and raced in a variety of singled-handed boat events.
After getting his degree in business administration from the University of
Texas in 1994, Beer decided to prepare for Olympic competition in the Tornado class. That plan was deep-sixed when Hurricane Marilyn sank his boat.
For the next three years, he crewed with Puerto Ricans Jose and Tony Teixidor aboard Cachondo -— one of the more winning names in the annals of racing in the annual Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle's Rolex, BVI Spring
Regatta and Puerto Rico contests. He has two Rolex victories to his credit as skipper and tactician.
A few years ago Beer met Keith Rodney, who asked him to crew aboard his Taylor 41, Sheerness. Racing out of Newport, R.I., he attracted the attention of Bob Towse, who invited him to be second helmsman on Blue
Yankee, a Farr 47. In 1997, he was made captain of Blue Yankee, which went on to win the Newport-to-Bermuda Race in June 1998.
A longtime friend of Holmberg, Beer crewed with him on the winning Team Caribbean (V.I. America's Cup Challenge) entry in the March 1998 and 1999 Congressional Cup competitions and in the Team Caribbean match racing in
St. Thomas harbor the last two Decembers. Racing with Team Caribbean in the Mini America's Cup in New Zealand in April 1988, he crewed with John Cutter, who got him the offer from America True.
In signing with America True, Beer told the Independent, he negated any chance of crewing with Holmberg on Conner's entry.
"I had to make the choice that was best for me," he said, adding that he felt assured of being a major player with America True.
Beer is in Connecticut preparing as captain and bowman of Blue Yankee for the Admiral's Cup competition in July in England, where he'll also take part in the Finn 2000 World Championships in June. After that he plans to
participate in the Pan American Games in the Finn class and then head to New Zealand to train with America True.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.