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Virgin Islands Group Names Sponsor

ST. THOMAS, USVI (Sept. 30, 1996) — Peter Holmberg's Virgin Islands America’s Cup Foundation has named Topa Equities, Ltd., as its first "title sponsor."

"The signing of a sponsor of Topa’s caliber signals the world that the V.I. challenge is gaining momentum and can now negotiate competitively for top America’s Cup yacht designers, talent and training boats," said Holmberg, vice president and skipper for the St. Thomas YC America’s Cup challenge.

Topa Equities, which is headquartered in Los Angeles, owns real estate and insurance interests in the U.S. Virgin Islands. These subsidiary companies are headed by William S. Anderson, who was named to the syndicate’s board of directors.

Financial details were not disclosed, but top-level sponsorships such as these are typically valued at $2 million to $3 million, and incorporate cash, services and in-kind contributions.

The deal will help the Caribbean team secure a designer, according to Steve Morton, the syndicate’s operations manager. He also said his group hopes to have a training boat by December.

John Cutler, director of sailing operations, is handling the yacht acquisition program. Cutler, a New Zealander, was at the helm of Japan's Nippon Challenge in 1995 and a member of the Nippon afterguard in 1992, and is likely to sail aboard the Virgin Islands boat.


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