Designer Doug Peterson – eight bells at 71

Designer Doug Peterson

July 25, 2017

Peterson/Wiggers 37s (sail number 54336) won big in the 90s

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports: On the same day the United States lost the America’s Cup to New Zealand, a San Diegan who designed Cup-winning boats for both countries died after a long bout with cancer.

In Canada, Peterson’s designs had an impact, particularly his Andy Wiggers-built 37s, which showed up frequently in the winners’ circle in Lake Ontario racing for much of the 90s.

The report confirms Peterson was one of the top yacht designers in the world in the 1970s and part of the 1980s, and then revived his career in the 1990s. He was voted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame earlier this year; the induction ceremony is scheduled for October at the USS Midway Museum.

In the mid-1970s, Peterson’s designs, often in partnership with Dennis Conner, dominated offshore racing contests.

In 1992 he joined with Bill Koch’s group and helped design America3, which defended the Cup in San Diego. Three years later, he wasn’t hired for the defense so he joined Team New Zealand as one of its lead designers and helped the Kiwis’ Black Magic win the Cup, again in San Diego, over Conner’s Stars and Stripes.


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