Robert Moffat Allan, Jr.
December 8, 1920 - September 11, 2009
Robert M. Allan, Jr . - Bob Allan, 88, died of Lewy Body Dementia on Sept. 11 at home in Capitola, CA. Bob married Harriet 'Spice' Spicer in 1942 while both attended and raced for Stanford. This love affair lasted a lifetime: 66 years. Bob graduated from Stanford, and served during WW II as weather adviser to General George C. Marshall preceding D-Day. Bob served as Vice-President of Times-Mirror Corp., Cypress Mines, and Litton Industries. But his passion lay in sailing, and as crew aboard the 98 foot schooner Morning Star, his wartime weather experience guided Morning Star to her record breaking passage in the '49 Transpac. All who follow the classic "Reverse S" route to Hawaii sail in Bob Allan's wake.
For many years, Bob chronicled West Coast sailing as a correspondent for Sea and Yachting magazines. In the 1950's he was an early advocate and friend to fledgling yacht designer Bill Lapworth. And for many years the Allan family raced and cruised Lapworth designs, including the 1967 Transpac winner Cal-40 Holiday Too. He was a great friend to junior, collegiate, and Naval sailing and leaves a legacy that will last for generations. Through Bob, many West Coast collegiate sailing programs received donations of 30 foot Shield sloops. Bob was Senior Staff Commodore of Newport Harbor Yacht Club and a founder of the Fales Advisory Committee on sailing at the U.S. Naval Academy.
From Tripp Alyn, SEISA Grad. Secy. 1986-95
With the passing of Bob Allan (Scuttlebutt 2928) we've witnessed the passing of an era. Bob was clearly the "father of west coast collegiate sailing" and now joins Jack Wood and Leonard Fowle (east coast collegiate sailing), and G. Shelby Friedrichs, Sr. (southern collegiate sailing), who all passed on before Bob, in that "Afterguard in the Sky."
Bob's dedication to college sailing was tireless and many a battle was fought by this tenacious leader. Over 20 years ago Bob told the story of how the "east coast college sailing establishment" was reluctant to allow west coast schools to sail in the college nationals. When Bob countered with a plan to hold a separate college nationals on the west coast circumstances abruptly changed which resulted in the first truly national championship. Additionally, Bob enlisted the help of such men as Donald Douglas (Douglas Aircraft), Cornelius Shields and Humphrey Bogart to support college sailing.
Bob had a serious concern that college sailing was too focused only on the dinghy events which favored smaller, lighter crews. Thus, Bob became an ardent supporter of the singlehanded, sloop and match racing champion- ships which would allow bigger sailors to fairly compete. With the low-point skippers in A & B divisions at college dinghy nationals competing for the Robert Allan, Sr. and Jr. trophies the legacy of Bob will remain forever in the minds of college sailors.
Thanks, Bob, for your dedication to college sailing and for promoting great competition across the country.
Robert M. "Bob" Allan was born in Detroit, Michigan on December 8, 1920 and departed this life the way he lived it, with grace, dignity, and humor on September 11, 2009. He was 88 years old and passed at home in Capitola, California, with family at his side.
Bob lived in San Marino and Newport Beach, California, later moving to Carmel for many years. He married the love of his life, Harriet "Spice" Spicer while they both attended Stanford prior to WWII. It was a love affair that lasted a lifetime: 66 years.
Bob graduated from Stanford in 1942, serving in the Air Force at the Pentagon as attache and weather adviser to General George C. Marshall. He assisted with predicting weather prior to the D-Day Invasion. After moving his growing family to Los Angeles in 1946, Bob Allan became an increasingly sought after business leader, and served as Executive Vice-President of Times-Mirror Corp., President of Cypress Mines Corp., and Litton International.
But his passion lay in sailing, and in 1949 as crewmember aboard the 98 foot schooner MORNING STAR, Bob Allan's weather forecasting guided MORNING STAR in breaking the Transpacific Yacht Race sailing record from Los Angeles to Honolulu. He skippered and won many local and off-shore races near Los Angeles and Monterey. His involvement in sailing was such that he gave back to the sport a legacy that will last for generations. For many years, Bob Allan chronicled West Coast sailing for Sea and Yachting Magazines. West Coast collegiate sailing programs also received multiple donations of 30 foot Shield class sloops through Bob Allan, and he has been honored by the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) for his lifetime achievement. He remained a longtime mentor to West Coast collegiate sailing and helped found city and naval recreational sailing programs.
Bob Allan was Senior Staff Commodore of Newport Harbor Yacht Club, a founder of the U.S. Naval Academy Sailing Advisory Board (Fales Committee), and lecturer at the Naval Post Graduate School. He loved golf, history, advising young people, family gatherings, and telling stories. His gentle, wise, and observant counsel will be missed by all who knew him.
Bob is survived by his wife Harriet, four children: Skip Allan of Capitola, Scott Allan of Annapolis, Maryland, David Allan of Carmel, and Marilee Allan of Berkeley, California; six grandchildren (Scott Jr., Christiane, and Robin Rose Allan; Jeremy, Molly, and Susannah Ashkenas), and three great grandchildren (Piper and Pearce Fabrizio, and Stewart Allan).
A memorial gathering for family and friends will be later this fall in Capitola.