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Dear GLSS community, 


We are saddened to learn of the recent passing of Buddy Melges. Our condolences go out to the entire Melges family and to all of those who loved him in the ILYA and beyond. 


Buddy was a fixture in the sailing community on a global basis for many decades. Much will be written about him over the ensuing days, celebrating his life, his impact, and his legacy. For all of us at the GLSS, it’s important not just to read these articles, but also to talk about them with our family and friends. This is particularly helpful for our younger GLSS participants to truly appreciate the rare and unique nature that Buddy possessed. 


Buddy was a fixture of consistency on and off the water. He had an unwavering confidence built on a foundation of Midwest Pride, and a fierce competitive spirit regardless of the stakes. He carried with him a unique sense of humor, youthful enthusiasm, and socially engaging demeanor that was naturally on display, always. Buddy commanded the utmost respect from peers and competitors, which in many ways is the hardest challenge when competing at the highest level in sports. Over the years, our youngest generation of rising sailors at GLSS were blessed to receive plenty of unsolicited feedback from Buddy on their sailing performances while Buddy watched club races from shore with his binoculars!   


It’s uncommon to achieve sailing’s loftiest goals - Olympic Gold Medals, America’s Cup Championships, World Championships, and of course ILYA titles - while also staying grounded, accessible, and intrigued by others around you. Buddy loved the ILYA, its various clubs and sailing schools, and the special culture and community we all share.


Please click here to see a letter from the Melges family more about Buddy’s deep and lasting legacy he leaves behind. 



Pete Strothman

President, Geneva Lake Sailing School


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