The K3 Foundation

“Former Glory – After years of restoration and care, an American titan of the maxiboat era returns to connect generations.

The K3 Foundation was created to manage the preservation and ongoing maintenance of the classic beauty. The foundation has a number of goals, foremost among them to make the boat available to young people for sail training and ensuring the boat continues to fly Old Glory off its transom.

“You cannot take the flag off Kialoa III — it’s impossible,” says Roland Pieper.”

The regatta [ASW 2017] was the second time Kialoa III had been back in true racing form since being purchased in 2013 by the K3 Foundation and restored for two years. The foundation first displayed the fruit of its labors at the Rolex Big Boat Series in 2015, an event during which Pieper recalls dealing with many failures and issues that triggered another phase of restora tion. In 2016, Pieper raced Antigua Sailing Week and finished second overall.

 The idea behind the K3 Foundation, he explains, is to bring the four-decades-old maxi back to life and make big-boat sailing more available to young people. “There’s a lot of small-boat sailing, but big-boat sailing — practicing and feeling the boat and how that works — well, there are just not enough big boats,” says Pieper. “So, it’s one of our goals to take young people along; the average age on board [in Antigua] was about 23. We had a couple of training days before racing, and it’s amazing how maneuvering went by the end of the week. It was impressive to see the kids move this big boat around.” A father of six boys, Pieper’s youngest son, Daniel, 21, was on board for his first ever regatta. “He’s worked his butt off, but he also enjoyed it, so I am happy with that,” says Pieper. “He’s now in the camp of [thinking] this is pretty cool.”