Buddy Melges

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Buddy Melges
Medal record
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1972 Munich Soling
Bronze medal – third place 1964 Tokyo Flying Dutchman

Harry C. "Buddy" Melges Jr. (born January 26, 1930) is a competitive sailor. He has earned national and international championships in several classes in conventional sailing and ice-boating.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Melges grew up on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, sailing the boats designed and manufactured by his father, Harry Melges Sr. Based in Zenda, Wisconsin, Melges Performance Sailboats is still in operation, and is now run by Buddy's son, Harry Melges III.

Sailing career[edit]

Melges is an Olympic gold (Soling, 1972) and bronze (Flying Dutchman, 1964) medalist, a two-time Star world champion (1978 and 1979), a three-time 5.5 Meter world champion (1967, 1973 and 1983), a five-time E-Scow national champion (1965, 1969, 1978, 1979 and 1983), a seven-time skeeter ice boat world champion (1955, 1957, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1980 and 1981) and a three-time Yachtsman of the Year (1961, 1972 and 1978). He helped Bill Koch steer his America3 to a successful defense of the America's Cup in 1992.[2]

Melges was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 2001, and to the Inland Lake Yachting Association Hall of Fame in 2002.[3] He was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2011.[4] Melges lectures and teaches across the United States, and is a member of many yacht clubs. He has been characterized as the "Grand Master" of competitive yachting, and has been called "The Wizard of Zenda".[5]


  1. ^ "National Sailing Hall of Fame". www.nshof.org. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  2. ^ "Buddy Melges Jr. Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2020-04-18. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  3. ^ "Herreshoff Marine Museum & America's Cup Hall of Fame". www.herreshoff.org. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  4. ^ "Harry C. Melges 2011 Inductee". Nshof.org. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  5. ^ WOJCIECHOWSKI, GENE (1992-05-08). "Captain Marvel : Highly Respected Buddy Melges Speaks His Own Language, Sails a Course Only He Can See". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-03-15.