Collegiate Sailors Reunion

For Immediate Release

(Honolulu, HI)  – Robert M. Allan, Jr., of Pebble Beach, was honored for his forty years of “Father of Collegiate Sailing on the Pacific Coast.”

A hundred friends and colleagues from Boston to Hawaii gathered at the San Diego Yacht Club for a “Collegiate Sailors Reunion” marking the fortieth anniversary of the first formal west coast collegiate regatta, which was sailed at Newport Harbor, spearheaded by Bob. Allan.

Bob Allan’s influence on sailing in general is enormous.  He was one of the first to bring modern meteorology into the Transpac race; he was one of the founders of the Newport to Ensenada Race, the largest once race in the world; he worked closely with designer Bill Lapworth on the design of the famous Cal-40, and his own boat Holiday, with his son Skip at the helm, became a Transpac winner.

But it is the promotion of collegiate sailing that Bob is best known.  Largely through his efforts, the first regattas were sailed on the west coach, and the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association was organized as one of the eight district of the Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association of North America.  In 1947 he encouraged Ted Livingston, Lowell North, Tom Scripps and others to form a team at San Diego State – a team that became the first to represent the west in the North American Champions at the Coast Guard Academy in 1948.  In 1950 the “nationals” first came to the west, sailed at Newport Harbor.  Carl Eichenlaub sailed for San Diego State in that event.  Lowell North had transferred to Berkeley, where he teamed with Bill Ficker to come within one point of defeating Yale’s team of Bobby Monnetti and Dick Carter, in one of the closest finishes in history.

North attributes the idea of multiple branch lofts in his world-wide sail making business to a conversation with Bob Allan.  Ficker, of course went on to defend the America’s Cup in 1970, as did Dennis Conner, a San Diego State alum, in 1980.  Another major interest of Allen’s has been the development of the sailing programs at the US Naval Academy, as a member of the Fales Committee.

Present at San Diego Yacht Club to honor Bob and Harriet Allan were a number of former collegiate All-Americans, as well as members of the Collegiate Sailing Hall of Fame, including Mrs. Nancy Dunlap of Lexington, Mass.  Mrs. Dunlap is widow of Leonard Fowle (Harvard (’30) who served for many years as Secretary-Treasurer of the ICYRA of NA during the period that it became truly a national body.

Bob Gales, of Mission Bay Yacht Club, and Lowell North co-chaired a committee to develop a suitable award to recognize Bob Allan’s service.

They remembered Allan’s frequent reference to deceased San Diego State Skipper Richard Lough, who, as a grad student at UC Berkeley, skirmished frequently on the water with Allan’s Stanford contingent.  Allan gives Dick Lough credit for being a primary “seed sower” of college sailing in California.


Lowell North and Bob Gales solicited funds from Dick Lough’s former shipmates at Mission Bay and San Diego Yacht Clubs to create – in the 25th year since Lough’s death – a Richard H. Lough Memorial Trophy, “to be awarded from time to rime to a person who has given extraordinary service over the year to the organization, operation, and encouragement of collegiate sailing within the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association.”

Bob Allan is the obvious inaugural recipient.


Wording on Plaque

The Richard H. Lough Memorial Award.  Presented from time to time to a person who has given extraordinary service over the year to the organization, operation, and encouragement of collegiate sailing within the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association.

Richard H. Lough (1907-1956).  Dick Lough overcame incredible physical handicaps to become one of the most formidable and likeable racing skippers on the West Coast.  He is best remembered at the helm of Skimmer #77 Goblin, sailing out of Mission Bay Yacht Club in the 1930’s and early 40’s, and of the International 110 #338 Caprice, sailing from San Diego Yacht Club in the late ‘40’s and the 50’s.

His enthusiasm for the sport of sailing found expression in his unflagging support of junior sailing and in his willingness to share his secretes of success and the ideals of sportsmanship with all who wished to learn.  While a graduate student at the University of California, he and Bob Allan, then a student at Stanford, sowed the seeds of friendly rivalry which would grow to become the PCIYRA.

Presented first, on October 23, 1981 to Robert M. Allan, Jr. with appreciated for his forty years of service as “Father of the PCIYRA.”

The plaque also displays a picture of Mr. Lough and one each of Goblin and Caprice.