Kialoa: An Unequaled Record?

Published on March 11th, 2015

Inducted into the U.S. National Sailing Hall of Fame, Jim Kilroy’s ocean racing yachts, all name Kialoa, amassed a record of victories spanning from 1956 to 1989. Equally successful in business, Kilroy’s autobiography Kialoa US-1 – Dare to Win provides the no-hold-barred, behind the scenes story of commerce and competition. Here’s an excerpt…

The KIALOA crew all talked. We would come to a decision through a collaborative process. We reviewed our remarkable record of success. Could we duplicate it or do better? Should we stay in the game? Or should we retire, letting our achievements speak for themselves? I thought I had made up my mind but wasn’t sure.

In a peculiar way, the decision was already made. We were all amazed at what we had done – the victories, the records, the mutual satisfaction that we’d achieved as a crew. Let other yachts, newer designs, and the latest technology challenge our results, our records, our satisfaction. It was late 1989, and the KIALOA era of worldwide, world-class yacht racing was over.

Has any other yacht ever met and exceeded the challenges faced by the five KIALOA’s and their crew? As with all sports and competitive endeavors, it’s open to discussion and argument, which is one of the reasons we compete. But in my opinion, no yachting team ever matched the friendship amongst us, or the collective identity we enjoyed from being a member of the KIALOA crew.

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