Migrating to the Melges 32

James Boyd Photography / www.thedailysail.com
John Kilroy tells us of his latest sailing programme
The name 'Kilroy' is one that has been a familiar feature in the sailing world for several decades now. American Jim Kilroy is of course famous for his series of Kialoa IOR boats. Spanning several decades, victories for the Kialoa team included the Admiral’s Cup, Onion Patch, Bermuda Race, Transpac, Sardinia Cup, SORC, Kenwood Cup, San Francisco Big Boat Series and the Maxi World Championship, but they are perhaps best remembered for holding the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race record for 25 years with Kialoa III. The dynasty is now being continued by son John Kilroy, 62, also based in California, with his series of Samba Pa Tis (named after the Santana song). From having been a regular crew on his father’s Kialoas in his youth, including one and two tonners, John Kilroy has had his own collection of boats over the years. In the last decade this has included Farr 40s and in particular a TP52. In this he cleaned up in the 2009 Transpac, being only the fifth boat in the then 103 year history of the race to come first on elapsed time in class, first in the fleet and to have the best corrected time in the fleet. However his weapon of choice at present is the Melges 32. Kilroy competed at the World Championship in Palma last week, where his Samba Pa Ti led for the entire week until the penultimate day when her lead was usurped by William Douglass’ Goombay Smash. Unfortunately the torrential rain through most of Saturday resulted in the final deciding races not being run, allowing Douglass to take home the trophy. “We made a couple of bad choices at the starting line and we paid the price for it, but we were still looking good going and frankly for me I prefer to be a