Almost every sailor knows his product, but hardly anyone knows him personally, the 54-year-old Italian Pietro Parmeggiani from Rimini; inventor and founder of the company Protect-Tapes.
Inspiration from Thailand
The passionate sailor lived in Thailand for many years and benefited from the technically fast and flexible development of new products. As a regatta sailor, he knew what is important in racing: namely, among other things, good quality, stable and yet removable tapes that can be attached to standing rigging for protection, so that sails cannot tear or the crew cannot be injured.
Thanks to his attention, his wealth of ideas and the technical feasibility, he has now been presented with one of the Pittman Innovation Awards at a ceremony at the boot press club.
He invented a new product, which is owed to a new regulation in regatta sailing which has been in force in Italy for a long time, and which is sure to come to the "Rest of Europe": the "SPK - Safe Packing Kite".
This is a 100% environmentally friendly material that comes from the sea itself and can therefore be returned to it. The huge spinnakers, which are hoisted in the wind on the beautiful big yachts and also on smaller ones, should be packed properly in order to be able to open without problems when pulled up. That's why up to now either rubber bands or woollen bands have been used to pack the spinnaker well before hoisting. Now these materials should and must not get into the water; because we all know that we have to protect our water and especially plastic or rubber will decompose only decades or even centuries later.
From this ban, Parmeggiani had the idea one year ago to test natural materials that could withstand the demands of regatta sailing. He brought a friend and professional sailor on board, the rigger Davide Fuzzi, who already worked for Team Luna Rossa at the 34th Americas Cup.
Together they designed the product until it took only a little more than 2 months from the idea to the first product design to be presented for the first time in Amsterdam in mid-November. There are two different types: the Safe Packing Kite, which holds up to 3 kilos (suitable for yachts up to 60 - 70 feet) or the SPK up to 4.5 kg load (suitable for maxi yachts from 70 feet). The holder, which is attached once to the sail with thin algae straps, holds the sail together. In case part of the ribbon falls into the water, the natural material is simply returned to the sea. Available from the company Protect Tapes.
To be nominated for the Pittman Innovation Award, you can apply by writing down the product descriptions and the thoughts behind them and submitting them to the jury - or you can be discovered and invited by 4 judges at water sports trade fairs worldwide. This is what happened to Mr. Pietro Parmeggiani and his 36 years young business friend Davide Fuzzi in Amsterdam. The jury decided to invite them to the world's largest water sports fair, boot in Düsseldorf, to present them with the prize in the racing category (from a total of 70 applicants).