Former Pirate rower becomes world champion!

Former Pirate rower becomes world champion!

SARASOTA, FL -- A member of the Orange Coast College men's crew is now a world champion as Sam Melvin captured the U.S. Lightweight Men's Single Sculler title at the 2019 World Rowing Under 23 Championships.

"Honestly, it hasn't sunken in," said Melvin in an interview with "I don't know, I feel pretty normal right now. It'll sink in eventually."

Melvin, who competed for OCC's 2016 and 2017 teams advanced to the finals, where he took on the world's best. After a slow opening 500 meters, Melvin went from last to first over the second 500 meters of the 2,000-meter race. In the third quarter of the race, Melvin pulled away from the pack and carried a three-second advantage and eventually captured the world title with a time of 7 minutes, 6.67 seconds, just ahead of The Netherlands' time of 7:06.83 and Austria (7:08.92).

Melvin qualified for the National Team after winning the U.S. Rowing Trials.

It was the USA's lone gold medal of the event. 

"I was in disbelief," Melvin said. "Did that really just happen? It all paid off and it means the world to me. It confirms I'm on the right path and what I'm doing is working."

In another OCC-related event, the U.S. Women's Pair raced in a boat named "David Grant" in recognition of the former Orange Coast College President and men's crew coach who has dedicated most of his life to growing the sport, both at OCC and abroad.