Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT EXTRA - August 23, 2003

Powered by SAIC (, an employee-owned company. Scuttlebutt is a
digest of major yacht racing news, commentary, opinions, features and dock
talk . . . with a North American focus. Corrections, contributions, press
releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always
welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.

Bruce Kendell, who captained three Kialoas and was one of the giants of the
maxi class, died on Thursday when the twin-engined Piper Navajo he co-owned
crashed short of the Clearwater Executive Airport, in Clearwater,
Florida. His son Bradley 22, was seriously injured. A friend of Bradley's,
Daniel Griffin, 24 was killed. Kendell, 56, a New Zealander who supervised
the building of Kialoa III and Kialoa IV for Jim Kilroy, was later an
executive in Kilroy's construction company before starting his own business
in Clearwater.

"He was an amazing individual," said Storm Trysail Club Commodore Dick
Neville, who crewed aboard Kialoas for Kendell for 15 years before coming
ashore to go into business in Annapolis, Md. "He was a gifted seaman. He
was only a year older than us, but he seemed to have 20 years more
experience. He could do it all. During those years the three Ks - Kilroy,
Kialoa and Kendell - were a devastating combination. With Jim and ruce as
watch captains we won a lot of races and broke a lot of records in races
all over the world."

Yacht broker David "Fang" Kilponen said: "Every now and then someone comes
along and raises the bar. Bruce was one of those guys. He took the big boat
scene to a new plateau. In the early glory days of the IOR he started
preparing the boat in the most exquisite fashion. In overnight racing he
changed the way that the night fighters were trained to get the most out of
their boats 24 hours a day."

Veteran ocean racing navigator Peter Bowker recalled that Kendell got his
job and began his long association with Kilroy after he crewed for Bowker,
while delivering Kialoa II from the Bahamas to Newport Beach, Calif., in
1970. Jim came and sailed with us along the way and they got on pretty well
together," Bowker recalled. "They had similar styles. He got the skipper's
job in Newport Beach after I went home." Kendell raced and set records on
many top boats, but is best remembered for his time on Kialoas. He
captained Kilroy's yachts on three visits to Sydney, racing in the
Sydney-Hobart Race in '72, '75 and 77, and, Neville recalled, introduced a
lot of talented sailors to the North American racing scene -- individuals
like Allan Prior, John Boulton, Tink Chambers, Mick and Neil Harvey to name
a few.

Chambers, now a broker at Farr International, was drafted by Kendell in
1976 and after crewing for him later took over the Kialoa III captain's job
when Kendell moved ashore. "I have a lot of respect for the guy and his
ability," Chambers said. "He was an excellent seaman and could do anything
he put his mind to." - Keith Taylor