A Daring Life, Fully Lived
by Herb McCormick
(a former editor-in-chief of Cruising World magazine and yachting correspondent for The New York Times)
To declare that Jim Kilroy has lived a full, challenging, interesting and accomplished life
is to traffic in understatement. It’s like saying Alaska is a large state, or the Pacific a wide
ocean. It diminishes the adjectives. It’s also inaccurate.
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For Jim Kilroy has actually experienced a wide range of different but equally successful existences: family man, veteran, developer, businessman, athlete, civic leader, political
insider, adventurer, yachtsman. For most men, what Kilroy has achieved in any one of those
many pursuits might be considered a singular highlight in a life well lived. For Jim, they are
but the sum parts of a mighty whole.
My own first encounter with Jim Kilroy wasn’t exactly with the man himself but with a
group of select fellows who would—and did—follow him to some of the farthest and most
remote places on the planet, the watery parts of the world and the distant islands and shorelines that dotted them. I’m speaking, of course, of the crews of a series of the most respected
and triumphant ocean racers in the history of competitive yacht racing, all of which were
The KIALOA sailors that I encountered at Antigua Sailing Week in 1982 were, quite
frankly, some of the coolest characters one could ever hope to meet. Tanned, salty, grinning, assured—and all bedecked in the red KIALOA t-shirts that they wore proudly, like a
badge of honor—they laughed heartily and spoke in all sorts of regional twangs from South
Auckland, South Sydney, Southern California and so on. That is, they were a happy presence at yacht club bars and regatta parties every time they were ashore. At sea, though they
still enjoyed a good joke amongst themselves, they were no jokers. They were skilled, no-nonsense mariners who sailed not for money but because they loved to sail. And they were
winners. Man, were they winners.
From The Author
To Our Crew and Friends of KIALOA,
In writing these chapters about the five KIALOAs, we have tried to be exceedingly careful about the accuracy of all data and race results. When one considers that racing results
and comments go back to the early 1950s, there must be some margin of error. If there are
errors, they are not intentional errors.
I have been amazed at the total amount of data, newspaper and magazine articles, race
instructions, crew lists, photographs, letters and other technical data in our files.
I have also tried to be most careful in the use of names of crew for each race or event.
I could have used many more names in my commentary on each race, and each event. My
reluctance to use more names has been the fear of excluding those who contributed equally
to each event or chapter.
The KIALOA crew have all been part of the world-wide KIALOA family, teamwork and
continuing friendship. I am humbled by their accomplishments.
We thank you all,
KIALOA 1956–2005 and Memories
by Jim Kilroy
The chapters of this book will present the outstanding sailboat racing records of the five
KIALOAs against the world’s most competitive yachts and crews. These results were the
foundation for the award of sail number US-1 by US Sailing, the nation’s sailboat racing
authority, to the KIALOAs and their owner-racing skipper.
The first three KIALOAs were also great cruising yachts, visiting the oceans of the world.
KIALOA IV and KIALOA V were not required to have cruising capabilities.
KIALOA II and KIALOA III were also fairly close in their high percentage of victories;
however, KIALOA III sailed in more international competitions and could be more closely
analyzed for racing results.
KIALOA III is recognized throughout the world for winning many major races and is
said by international sailors to be the winningest yacht in yachting history. As you read this
book, consider the challenges and the results: The first to finish victories, the record setting
victories, and the handicap corrected time victories against smaller and larger yachts. We
who raced KIALOA III— our all-amateur crew, and me, their captain and primary helmsman—were thrilled with her results and recognized throughout the world.
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Backstabbed by Brundage:Hope and Deception in the Quest for the '76 Olympic Games
In early 1968, the mayor of Los Angeles, Sam Yorty, asked if I would chair a committee to bid
for the 1976 Games of the Summer Olympics on the city’s behalf. My response was that it would
be a wonderful tribute for our nation to host the Olympics during our bicentennial anniversary,
and yes, I would be honored to do so.
Though the circumstances were quite different now, it wouldn’t be my first experience with
the Olympics in Los Angeles.
Some simple math revealed that 1976 would also be the 44th anniversary of the city’s “no cost”
Olympics of 1932, which had been a great spectacle for my brother Walter and me, at the time
13 and 10, respectively. Though we didn’t have tickets, we did watch the Games inside the great,
expanded new Coliseum. We were street kids selling newspapers, which advertised the Olympic
program on the front page; we worked our way in to sell those programs to the paying customers.
Once again, it was fortunate that we were pretty big kids for our ages.
The fact that those ’32 Games were staged at “no cost” to Los Angeles was a big deal. That was
our game plan for 1976, as well. The Olympics would need to pay for themselves.
With that goal in mind, we arranged a preliminary meeting with a few of my close associates
and Bill Nicholas, now the general manager of the Coliseum; Paul Zimmerman and Bill Henry,
the sports editors for the city’s major newspaper, the Los Angeles Times; and John Ferraro, a
former USC football star and a city councilman. After discussing our objectives, we placed calls
to Jack Garland and Bill Schroeder, who’d served on the committee for the 1932 Games. We were
eager to have their guidance and learn the secrets to their success.
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