In her six years under Brown and his family, she was one of the super-star racing yachts of her day, regularly winning major races on elapsed time and often on corrected time, too. The racing record was a small part of her allure. A subsequent owner, Gunter Sunkler, her first restorer, spoke of "the magical qualities that she always had." The word "sleek" could have been invented to describe this boat. On board, in any decent breeze, she was a thing of tremendous, urgent force.
Brown told Olin Stephens that "the greatest of all sensations" was "the Bolero feeling under sail." One man who truly appreciated those qualities was Carleton Mitchell. Hearing in 1954 that Brown was thinking of putting her up for sale, Mitchell seriously considered making a bid. "I thought it would be a wonderful thing to race Bolero until your money ran out," he once told me. In the end, he chose to build a smaller, and also fabled, Sparkman & Stephens boat, Finisterre.