Eight Bells: Stellan Westerdahl

Published on September 17th, 2018

Stellan Westerdahl

Sweden’s Stellan Westerdahl passed away on August 27 in Göteborg. He was 82 years old and suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Stellan was one of the founders of Pelle Petterson AB in 1969, together with sailor and boat designer Pelle Petterson, when the company started to develop what later became the enormously successful sailing yacht Maxi 77.

When the boat was introduced at the Gothenburg boat show in 1972, almost 5,000 boats were sold and the Maxi 77 was followed up by a complete line of boats. Totally, Maxi Yachts sold some 16,000 boats.

In 1974, Stellan and Pelle Petterson, together with brothers Lars and Hans Wiklund, sold Maxi Yachts to Mölnlycke AB, later becoming “SCA”, which gave them the resources for a Swedish Americ’s Cup challenge. The 1977 regatta in Newport, USA received much attention and was a big injection for Swedish sailing as a sport.

Stellan was a great sailor, winning a Silver Medal with Pelle (above) in the Star at the 1972 Olympics, two World Championships in 6m as well as two European Championship gold, also in the Star boat class. He was also a true marketing person with a very good sense of humour and tons of good stories to encourage both the crew during racing and co-workers.

Lars Wiklund and Pelle Petterson together said: “Stellan was a very good sailor and a true entrepreneur with a lot of projects running at the same time. Together with him there were always a lot of good stories. Maybe not always in accordance with reality, but that´s what made it so funny.”

Source: IBI News

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