Magnus Olsson Prize to Pelle Petterson

Published on June 11th, 2022

The Swedish sailing icon and legend has been awarded the prestigious Magnus “Mange” Olsson Prize 2022. The prize is awarded every year to a sailor who has made an indelible mark in the sailing world.

Pelle is the first Swede to be awarded the international Mange Olsson Prize. Previous winners of the award are sailing legends such as Torben Grael, Sir Ben Ainslie, Stan Honey, Santiago Lange, Grant Dalton, Carolijn Brouwer, Peter Burling and Martine Grael.

For many decades, Pelle Petterson was one of Sweden’s best sailors. His sailing career resulted in two Olympic medals in the Star class, winning Olympic bronze in 1964 and silver in 1972. He also has about 10 World Cup medals including winning the Star Worlds, a gold star, in San Diego in 1969 as the most prestigious merit. He became a top name on the international sailing circuit.

Twice he led a Swedish challenge for the America’s Cup, in 1977 and 1980, with the boat Sverige, both times, with Mange Olsson as a valued team member. He also raced on board The Card, the Swedish entry in the 1989-90 edition of the Whitbread Round the World Race, the predecessor of The Ocean Race.

In addition to being a sailor of rank, Pelle is also a design icon, mainly in the boat industry where over 100,000 boats have been manufactured according to his design. But Pelle is behind so much more. Among other things, he created Volvo’s cult sports model P1800. Pelle Petterson’s design products go a long way, from watches to a Stone Ferry.

He has also received the KTH Grand Prize in 2004 for his lifelong design work and H.M. The King’s medal in the 12th size for special merits in 2011. Pelle is also number one member of the Swedish sailing Hall of Fame.

Pelle is largely responsible for Mange Olsson becoming the sailor he became, by offering Mange a place in the crew on board “Sweden” which challenged the American Cup in 1977. Pelle had noticed that Mange was good as a dinghy sailor and as a special work at KTH Mange had written about computerization of compasses. Mange helped Pelle to design a navigation system and also got to be part of the crew in Sweden.

It was 1976; Mange was 27 years old and never hesitated to jump on the bandwagon when Pelle called. Mange said goodbye to a career as an engineer and Pelle became Mange’s ticket to a professional racing circuit. It was also the beginning of a lifelong friendship between Pelle and Mange.

“From that day, Mange became my very best friend. We had indescribably many happy moments in boats and on ski slopes. Mange also became an important part of our family”, says Pelle.

Past Winners:
2014 Torben Grael (BRA)
2015 Ben Ainslie (GBR)
2016 Stan Honey (USA)
2017 Santiago Lange (ARG)
2018 Grant Dalton (NZL)
2019 Carolijn Brouwer (NED)
2020 Peter Burling (NZL)
2021 Martine Grael (BRA)

The Mange Olsson Memorial Fund was created to continue the essence of enthusiasm, passion, and determination that Mange brought to the sport of sailing. In the spirit of Mange Olsson, the Foundation will inspire and support young sailors in Sweden, as well as reward international sailors who develop our sport at both a human and a competitive level. The Foundation will also enable a network for young sailors to exchange experiences with the more established sailors. The Foundation is financially supported by companies and individuals who wish to ensure that the values that Mange embodied, continue to live on.

Source: Mange Olsson Foundation

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