|MELGES: The Wizard of Zenda, a film about the life of sailing legend Buddy Melges, will have its Connecticut premiere in conjunction with this year’s Connecticut Spring Boat Show at Safe Harbor Essex Island in Essex, CT, on Saturday, April 29. The ninety-minute movie will have two showings hosted at the Essex Yacht Club at 1:30 and 4:30. Tickets will be $20 with half of the proceeds going to benefit Sails Up 4 Cancer. These RSVP-only tickets will also provide access to the Connecticut Spring Boat Show all weekend long. Tickets are available at https://www.windcheckmagazine.com/shop/
These premiers are being sponsored by the Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association and Precision Tech Manufacturing, maker of stainless steel turnbuckles and other marine products. The two showings are limited to the first seventy people. Advance ticket purchasing is strongly encouraged as these shows will likely sell out.
Wizard of Zenda takes the viewer on a wild ride through the career of one of the greatest sailors in the history of the sport.
The movie tells the untold story of Buddy Melges, a fiercely competitive but beloved sailor who won Olympic medals and championships, and his quest to capture the pinnacle of sailing, the America’s Cup. Melges was an entertaining character who shared everything he knew and refused to take himself too seriously. His intuitive, some would say mystical, powers to see and feel the wind, along with his home base of Zenda, WI combined to earn him the well-deserved nickname: The Wizard of Zenda.
Melges won the respect and admiration of his peers and adversaries. Many of sailing’s biggest icons were interviewed for the film, including three-time America’s Cup winner Dennis Conner, Australian champion John Bertrand, former ESPN sailing analyst and America’s Cup winner Gary Jobson, and Bill Koch, the billionaire businessman who teamed up with Melges in the 1992 America’s Cup.
Quicklier Film Partners Executive Producer Anne Peterson chose longtime partner and filmmaker Mark Honer to write and direct Wizard of Zenda. “It’s been a long road, but we’re excited to share this amazing story,” said Peterson, who grew up sailing the same waters as Melges at Lake Geneva, WI. “Many people know about Buddy’s championships, but not many know how he used that winning platform to teach not just sailing, but lessons about humility, honesty, persistence and overcoming adversity.”
Through exhaustive research, the filmmakers uncovered film and video ranging from a 1946 regional regatta, when Buddy was 16, to a world iceboat championship in 1991, which he won at the age of 71. “We told sailors we were producing a film about Buddy Melges and doors magically opened,” said Honer. “The jackpot was getting unprecedented access to over 100 hours of behind-the-scenes archival footage of the 1992 America3 campaign.”
Quicklier Film Partners is partnering with organizations and sponsors to distribute the documentary through private screenings, events and film festivals. To learn more visit Sail.
For more information about the CT Spring Boat Show, including the screening time for Wizard of Zenda, a list of exhibitors, schedules for seminars and live music, and to purchase advance tickets, log onto CTSpringBoatShow.com.