Pelle Petterson

Pelle Petterson bigraphy, stories - Sailor

Pelle Petterson : biography

31 July 1932 –

Pelle Helmer Petterson (born July 31, 1932) in Stockholm is an award-winning Swedish sailor and yacht designer. He is the son of Helmer Petterson, and studied design at the leading Pratt Institute in New York from 1955 through 1957. He is probably best known for designing the Maxi Class 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. Petterson has three children. 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.


May 14, 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.

November 19, 2004 he received a prestigious award (KTH’s Stora Pris) from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

June 8, 2010 he received from H.M the King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden the King’s Medal (12th size bright-blue ribbon ) for outstanding contributions as a yachtsman and boat designer.

Olympic Medals and other Yacht Racing Awards

He has won Olympic bronze and Olympic silver in the Starboat class. He also won World Cup medals in the Soling Class and participated in the America’s Cup several times.

He won Olympic medals for Starboat racing in 1964 and 1972. He won the World Championship title in the Star class at the 1969 Worlds in San Diego, USA. He skippered the Swedish America’s Cup Challenges in 1977 and 1980.