Pelle Petterson

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Pelle Petterson
Pelle P June2010.jpg
Pelle Petterson in June 2010
Personal information
Full namePelle Helmer Petterson
Nationality Sweden
Born (1932-07-31) 31 July 1932 (age 90)[1]
Stockholm, Sweden[1]
Sailing career
Class(es)Star, Soling, 6mR, 12 mR
ClubKattegattflottiljen, Gothenburg[1]
Medal record
Representing  Sweden
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1972 Munich Star class
Bronze medal – third place 1964 Tokyo Star class
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1969 San Diego Star class
Gold medal – first place 1977 Marstrand 6 mR class
Gold medal – first place 1979 Seattle 6 mR class
Gold medal – first place 1983 Newport 6 mR class
Silver medal – second place 1969 Copenhagen Soling
Silver medal – second place 1974 Laredo Star class

Pelle Helmer Petterson (born 31 July 1932) is a Swedish sailor and yacht designer. He is the son of Helmer Petterson and Norwegian-born Borgny Petterson (born Holm), and studied design at the leading Pratt Institute in New York from 1955 through 1957. His father was also a designer who developed wood gas aggregates and Volvo PV444, strongly influencing his son to go in his footsteps. He is probably best known for designing the Maxi brand of sailing boats, which are still among the most common sailing boats in Swedish waters. He also designed Volvo's successful sports car, the P1800, while he was a student of Pietro Frua.[2]

There is a line of sailing clothing and sports wear bearing the name Petterson, under the Brand Name Pelle P. which are designed by his daughter, Cecilia. His other daughter, Ulrika "Icka", lives in the U.S. and is married to Paul Cayard, an American yachtsman and professional sailor.

Olympic medals and other yacht racing awards[edit]

A Volvo P1800, designed by Petterson

Competing in the Star class, Petterson won two Olympic medals: a bronze in 1964 and a silver in 1972.[3][4] He held the world title in this event in 1969.

He also won World Cup medals in the Soling Class and participated in the America's Cup several times, skippering the Swedish America's Cup Challenges in 1977 and 1980.


Petterson was the first person to be inducted into the Swedish Sailing Hall of Fame.[1] On 14 May 2004 he received the Swedish Business Award for Outstanding Achievements of the first grade from the West Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Amongst previous recipients are Arvid Carlsson Nobel laureate, Ingvar Kamprad founder of Ikea and Pehr G. Gyllenhammar former CEO of Volvo.

On 19 November 2004 he received the KTH's Stora Pris from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.[5]

On 8 June 2010 Petterson received from Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden the King's Medal (12th size bright-blue ribbon[6]) for outstanding contributions as a yachtsman and boat designer.


Petterson in the 1960s
As of 27 September 2015[7]
Year Competition Venue Position Event
1964 Olympic Games Enoshima, Japan 3rd Star class
1966 Star World Championships Kiel, West Germany 7th Star class
1967 Star World Championships Copenhagen, Denmark 5th Star class
1969 Star World Championships San Diego, USA 1st Star class
Soling World Championship Copenhagen, DEN 2nd Soling
1970 Star World Championships Marstrand, Sweden 13th Star class
1971 Star World Championships Puget Sound, USA 7th Star class
1972 Star World Championships Caracas, Venezuela 4th Star class
Olympic Games Kiel, West Germany 2nd Star class
1973 Star World Championships San Diego Bay, USA 8th Star class
1974 Star World Championships Laredo, Spain 2nd Star class
1976 Star World Championships Nassau, Bahamas 8th Star class
1977 6 Metre World Championships Marstrand, Sweden 1st 6 Metre class
1978 Star World Championships San Francisco, USA 17th Star class
1979 Star World Championships Marstrand, Sweden 6th Star class
6 Metre World Championships Seattle, USA 1st 6 Metre class
1983 6 Metre World Championships Newport, USA 1st 6 Metre class
1995 Star World Championships Laredo, Spain 63rd Star class
1998 Star World Championships Portoroz, Slovenia 89th Star class
2009 Star World Championships Varberg, Sweden 61st Star class

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Pelle Petterson. Swedish Olympic Committee
  2. ^ Swärd, Lasse (8 November 2009). "Volvo ger upprättelse åt P1800:s skapare (Volvo provide redress to the P1800's creator)". Dagens Nyheter. Archived from the original on 9 November 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  3. ^ "Pelle Petterson". Olympedia. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Pelle Petterson - Sweden's sailing hero", 32nd America's Cup Interviews, 9 January 2005, retrieved 8 November 2009
  5. ^ "KTHs Stora pris - Samtliga vinnare (KTH's Grand Prize - All the winners)", KTH, 29 September 2009, archived from the original on 6 December 2009, retrieved 8 November 2009
  6. ^ HM King Carl XVI Gustaf Medals, 8 June 2010, retrieved 8 June 2010
  7. ^ "Sailor Biography".

External links[edit]