The Melges name is an iconic one in the world of sailing. Melges Performance Sailboats is a stalwart manufacturer in the industry. The company is headquartered in Zenda in southern Wisconsin. It continues to be overseen by the family whose name it bears.

Harry 'Buddy' Melges was the son of the company's original founder, Harry Sr. The younger Melges would go into the family business and would also be adept at competitive sailing. Exceptionally so, as it happens. He would be considered as one of the greatest to ever participate in the sport.

Passed away on May 18, 2023

Buddy Melges has died, US Sailing and Yachting World confirm. He was 93. An official cause of death was not immediately released to the public. But evidently Melges' health had been in a state of decline in recent months. He was at his home in Fontana-on-Geneva Lake, Wisconsin when he died.

Melges has been remembered as a passionate conservationist with a 'humble' and 'colorful' personality. He was also known for his willingness to help and encourage up-and-coming generations of sailors.

In 1964, Melges won an Olympic bronze medal in the Flying Dutchman category at the Tokyo games. Eight years later, he would win Olympic gold in Soling at the games hosted by Munich.

In the years in between, he scored a gold medal at the 1967 Pan American Games. Again as a competitor in the Flying Dutchman event.

Melges was also a participant in multiple editions of the iconic America's Cup. In 1992, he helped lead America3 (or 'America Cubed') to victory.

During the course of his career, Melges won a total of 12 world championships.

They were divided between the Star, 5.5 Meter and Skeeter classes. The third of those listed is run on ice. He also notched five national championships and three North American championships over the years. Also on three occasions he was voted as the Yachtsman of the Year by US Sailing. Along with twice being the One Design Sailor of the Year.

Melges has been inducted into at least five halls of fame. He joined the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 2001. Followed by the Inland Yachting Association Hall of Fame the next year. Melges was inducted into both the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame and World Sailing Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2011, he became an inductee in the National Sailing Hall of Fame.

Was a Korean War veteran

Buddy Melges was a native of Elkhorn, Wisconsin. He would graduate from what is now Badger High School in nearby Lake Geneva. Followed by what would be the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

During the Korean War, Melges served in the United States Army. He would be decorated with the Bronze Star Medal.

Melges' son, Harry III, is the current CEO of Melges Performance Sailboats. Harry III has also become a highly successful competitive sailor in his own right. Scoring multiple world and national championships, as well as hall of fame memberships.