Newport Shipyard Personality: Jeff Beneville
Newport Shipyard Personality: Charlie Enright
Jeff is a Shipyard 'personality' because he's the real-deal, not because of his good looks, disposition (to all but me), always-perfect hair, well pressed shirts... but because he has been a tenant and friend to Newport Shipyard since '08. We all love him. A private client insurance executive for high net-worth individuals, Jeff is a maritime insurance authority in the super-yacht space who was recently named a Senior VP at Willis Insurance NA.
Jeff was a two-time competitor in the America's Cup ('87 on America II and '92 on Stars & Stripes) and is no stranger to local waters. Moving away from the hustle & bustle of New York in January '08, Jeff and his wife Annie moved to Jamestown to enjoy 'island life'. A stalwart member of the New York YC, Jeff has been on the membership committee a long time... guiding many budding sailors. He also competes in Maxi Yacht and 12 Metre championships.
Jeff has over 25 years in marine insurance and works closely with Willis' private client group, which includes 24 of the world's 100 largest luxury yachts. According to Willis, Jeff will "work to expand Willis' footprint in this highly specialized marketplace." We feel Jeff is the epitome of a good citizen in everything he does. All I can do is hope and pray he will buy me lunch at Belle's for these heartfelt words.
Newport Shipyard Personality: Rome Kirby
Newport Shipyard is proud to give Bristol, RI native and Volvo Ocean Race skipper (and co-CEO) Charlie Enright a much deserved nod as our 'Shipyard Personality.' Since Charlie and Team Alvimedica arrived at Newport Shipyard last week after completing their transatlantic 'training' onboard their VO65, he has been a permanent fixture around the Yard and we love his friendly disposition and great sense of humor. Currently on sabbatical from North Sails, Charlie and his team are calling Newport Shipyard home for a few weeks before they embark on their around-the-world adventure.
Charlie is no stranger to sailing fame. He was a crew member aboard Disney's Morning Light (along with Alvimedica's other co-CEO and crew member Mark Towill) in 2007 and has raced in a number of notable regattas including the Newport-Bermuda Race, Transatlantic Race, Transpac, Fastnet and Caribbean 600. Charlie attended Brown University where he was named a sailing College All-American and is an accomplished one design sailor.
The Shipyard is enjoying working with Charlie and the rest of his team (which includes our own Nick Dana, also a Shipyard 'personality', who did the transatlantic leg with Alvimedica) and we wish him much luck in the VOR which starts in Alicante, Spain in October. The teams will make eight stops between the start and finish in Gothenberg, Sweden next June, including a May stop-over right here in Newport. Be sure to come down to the Yard to check out the boat (she will have her naming ceremony this Sat., June 28 at 3pm and the public is invited) and meet our 'hometown team!'
Shipyard Personality Rome Kirby, 24, with a sailing cv most veteran pro sailors would kill for, is Oracle Team USA's only American onboard. Rome grew up around the America's Cup starting in 1992 when his father, Jerry Kirby, joined the winning America3team in 1992. From a very early age his sights were set on reaching the top of the sport. At age 22, Rome cut his teeth on the Volvo Race aboard Puma.... based at Newport Shipyard, before going around the world from Alicante, Spain. He was the youngest crew member in the fleet.
When close buddy Nick Dana was asked what he thought drove Rome to such achievement, Nick said without hesitation, "the desire to reach that Holy Grail of sailing.. a 'Gold Card'' at the Cooke House." Rome, our job is to make sure David issues that card!
Whether it's moths, surfboards, kite sailing, Volvo 70's or AC 72's, Rome attacks all with single-minded focus and persistence. Nick and I were just in San Francisco where Oracleskipper Jimmy Spithill was quoted in the SF Chronicle ..."(Rome) is one of the best talents out there in the racing world and a phenomenal athlete." High praise. We have your back as well. Good luck in everything you do in life; you have already inspired us.
Sept 25, 2013: Great article on today's Wall Street Journal about Rome Kirby!