Sailor of the Week: May 27 - June 2
US SAILING’s 2010 National Championship series launched last week in Shoreacres, Texas with the U.S. Multihu ll Championship, hosted by the Houston Yacht Club. Twenty of the best multihull racers in the country were on hand to compete for the Hobie Alter Trophy. In the end, it was the team of Pete Melvin and Nat Shaver taking home the crown. Melvin dashed out to an early lead and never looked back. He posted an impressive scoring line that featured a bullet, four second places, a third, and two fourths.
What made the victory even more impressive was the fact that Melvin and Shaver were sailing together for the first time. “We came into the event assuming that we needed to be consistent and avoid getting flushed down to the B Group,” Pete explained. “Nat is a quick learner and is very enthusiastic so it wasn’t difficult for us to work well together.”
Pete started s ailing multihulls after moving to Long Beach, Calif. in 1986. “I always admired the speed, grace, and efficiency of the Tornado Cats, and I jumped at the chance to sail them once I graduated from college and moved to California,” mentioned Pete.
Previously, Pete ra ced comp etitively at a high level in the Optimist, 420 and 470 classes. His 1988 Olympic campaign in the Torna do paid huge dividends. He won the Olympic Trials and went on to compete in the Olympic Games.
Two years later, Pete qu it his aircraft design job to be involved with Gino Morrelli and the Little America’s Cup C Class Catamaran Challenge. Following this campaign, he performed several engineer consulting jobs in the marin e industry. Eventually, he teamed up with Gino to form a yacht design business called, Morrelli & Melvin Design & Engineering, Inc. in Huntington Beach, CA. “I’ve been actively racing and designing multihulls of all sizes and shapes since then,” said Pete.
Pete’s sailing resume is long and distinguished. He has won a combined 26 national/continental championships in monohulls and multihulls and three world championships (Youth Doublehanded Worlds and two A Class Catamaran World Championships). He is also recognized by the World Sailing Speed Record Council for owning several world speed records on ocean-going multihulls.
The former U.S. Olympian added, “It would be great to see the multihulls back in the Olympics, and in the America’s Cup of course!”