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SPECIAL CLASS INTERVIEW: Melges 32 Owner Lasse Petterson, Pippa

12 April 2016

Considering that Lasse Petterson and his Norweigan entry Pippa took a bullet on the last day of racing at the 2016 Melges 32 European Sailing Series event in Porto Venere, we met with the class newcomer only to find out that they are anything but a rookie!

IM32CA: Why did you choose to sail in the Melges 32 fleet?
PL: Fritz Homan introduced me to the Wilma team in 2014 and I enjoyed the teamwork required and excitement in sailing a fast boat such as the Melges 32.

IM32CA: What is your experience in one design racing and/or in sailracing?
PL: I was the owner and sailed for many years on the west coast of Norway in a one design class Albin Express, a swedish 26 foot keelboat. In addition I have crewed on larger keel boats in inshore/offshore regattas.

IM32CA: Who's going to be on board with you during the 2016 racing season?
Helmsman: Lasse Petterson, Tactician: Matteo Ivaldi, Main trimmer: Dede Deluca, Trimmer: Manuel Modena and on the front: Eros Paghera, Raimondo Tonelli, Enrico Turrini and Enrico Verdinelli

IM32CA: What were the first suggestions Mattteo Ivaldi provided you with for better stearing and for going fast on Melges 32?
PL: I am getting good advice from all the t eam members. They are keen to share their experience on how to sail the boat safe and fast and after eachtraining session we have a very frank and straightforward de-brief discussing how to improve both helming, maneuvres and communication on board.

IM32CA: We know you had some training sessions on Lake Garda together with your friend Fritz Homann and the Wilma team. What's the main gap (if it exists) between the Wilma and Pippa teams at the moment?
PL: We did some boat-on-boat training this spring with the two boats in Torbole. Garda which was a great experience being able to trim the boats against each other comparing sail combinations and boat speed in different conditions. Most of the team in the Pippa boat have sailed together for a longer time than the team in the Wilma boat. Fritz sailed Wilma in all of the regattas last year and has for sure an advantage on me as I could only sail 2-3 training days in advance of the regattas last year due to a knee injury. All in all we should be fairly equally matched.

IM32CA: Which events are you planning to compete in during 2016?
PL: We will sail all the European events in 2016.

IM32CA: What’s your favourite sailing memory?
PL: Sailing the Around Utsira Island regatta in the North Sea surfing down the waves under spinnaker in the Albin Express with a group of good friends as crew.

IM32CA: What's your main hobby/passion apart from sailing?
Ski-touring and golfing

IM32CA: Where is your favourite sailing location? Have you sailed your Melges 32 there?
I spent many summers windsurfing in Malcesine in Lake Garda and now spending traning time in Torbole. So I will have to say Lake Garda is my favourite. Nice strong north winds in the morning, have some good pasta for lunch and then sail the Ora in the afternoon.

IM32CA: If you could change one thing about the Melges 32, what would it be?
I would not change a thing! The boat is great fun to sail.

IM32CA: What do you never go sailing without?
I never sail without the thought that we are sailing because it is our passion and we are out here for excitement and fun!

IM32CA: What’s your target for the upcoming season?
My goal for this season is to learn to sail the boat fast and do the best we can as a team in each regatta building confidence and performance as we go.

IM32CA: What's the real meaning of your boat name "Pippa"? Is it a norwegian female name and is it the "alterego" of Wilma (Homann)?
"Pippa" is the name of my daughter’s cat who at only 4 weeks old found her way to our house in Houston, Texas insisting to be let in after she had been abandoned outside by her owners to be eaten by snakes or coyotes. So, to me "Pippa" stands for "strength of mind to overcome impossible odds".

A very special thanks to Lasse for taking the time to let us get to know the Pippa team better, and best of luck and great success in the 2016 season!