Living , Modern




Scott Allan has distinguished himself in all three categories for the National Sailing Hall of Fame – Sailing, Contributor, and Technical.

The following is paraphrased from Allan’s nomination:

In the late 1960’s-late 1970’s the sport of sailing underwent enormous evolution and progress ranging from technological and tactical developments to a rapid growth in the number of Americans participating in sailboat racing.


Scott Allan quietly emerged as one of America’s elite helmsmen during those seminal years whose racing resume, now 40 to 50 years removed, is vast in terms of breadth and variety of disciplines in which he often dominated or “podium placed”.

2019 NSHOF inductee Robbie Doyle described Allan as “one of the most underrated sailors in the country…he’s won the Prince of Wales, Congressional Cup, and Transpac.” (Annapolis Evening Capital, October 5, 1985)

While helmsmen in that era gained tremendous success and notoriety by specializing in one or two disciplines or classes, Allan won across this national and often international spectrum at a very young age.

Dubbed “Mr. Intensity” by Ed Adams (Sail Magazine, October 1979), Allan’s wins as a helmsman – all by the age of 26 – include the following:

  • Two Snipe Junior National Championships
  • A Collegiate National Championship
  • Multi-year First Team All-American Intercollegiate sailor
  • The first ever College Sailor of the Year (Everett Morris Trophy)
  • An overall Transpac win (youngest winning helmsman ever)
  • A Congressional Cup (youngest winning helmsman ever)
  • US Sailing’s Prince of Wales National Match Racing trophy
  • Sometime sparring partner helmsman on Intrepid for the French America’s Cup team FRANCE 1, and
  • An Olympic Trials victory resulting in a helmsman position on the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team.

*Further bullets below under “Sailing Honors and Accomplishments*


Allan also dedicated – often “behind the scenes” – an increased amount of time from the 1970’s onward to helping the sport and others seeking to improve their results.  Such contributions probably began when he was named, at age 22, the U.S. Naval Academy’s head dinghy coach, quickly returning that program to prominence in collegiate sailing and producing numerous All-Americans, some of whom crewed on America’s Cup winners. Allan’s commitment to Navy Sailing continued for two decades mostly through his role on the prestigious Navy Sailing advisory Fales Committee.  Other altruistic community contributions over the years included assisting the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, as well as helping to create, fund, and support the Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) which brings handicapped Marylanders onto the Chesapeake.  Since 2004, Allan has played a role in establishing the National Sailing Hall of Fame as a Founder and Board member through 2019. Just as importantly, Allan has spent countless years coaching his sail making customers to success on the East Coast and beyond. Allan has also committed many hours working directly with the Mayor of Annapolis’ office and the city’s Dept. of Recreation to create initiatives that will provide local youth and at-risk children access to and the experience of the Chesapeake Bay through sailing while also learning about Annapolis’ rich sailing heritage.

*Bullet list below under “Contributor Honors and Accomplishments”


As one of the country’s leading sail makers who learned the trade while interning for NSHOF members Lowell North and Peter Barrett while attending college at University of Southern California, Allan also contributed significantly to the way today’s modern sails are designed and developed. Further, in 1973 upon starting and managing his own sail loft at age 27, Allan was influential in developing, testing, and using the world’s first computer sail design system alongside MIT’s Dr. Jerome Milgram. Moreover, as a teenager, he often experimented with new dinghy techniques and technologies, including pioneering the “floppy rig” shroud set-up on Snipes and Flying Dutchmans.  He was also instrumental in early racing of the revolutionary Cal-40 class of offshore racers which brought in a new era of ultra-light, planing boats that broke numerous records.

Allan was often called upon by top naval architects like Britton Chance, Ron Holland, Gino Morelli, and Bruce Farr in developing and testing boats/designs, including technical ideas  — such as such as hull friction reducing soap injection systems, canting masts, and high-speed catamaran rudders — that in some cases, were so revolutionary that they were subsequently banned.  As a college-aged racer, Allan also pioneered new match racing techniques and tactics which assisted him in winning the Congressional Cup and Prince of Wales Trophy against a number of current NSHOF members, and at a time when match racing was growing quickly, among the ranks of America’s top sailors.  In preparation for his Olympic competition, he also made advances in boat set up to the Flying Dutchman – the world’s grand prix dinghy – and later led the country in rig and sail development in the newly formed J-24 class which made him one, according to British legend Harold Cudmore, of the world’s fastest “straight line” sailors.  After having run his own loft for over 40 years, Allan is now a consultant with North Sails where he continues to provide that organization and its customers with over sixty years of technical “know how”.

*Bullet list below under “Technical Honors and Accomplishments”

Sailing Honors and Accomplishments:

  • 1950, First Sailboat Race – Flight of the Snowbirds, Newport Harbor, CA (age 4 as crew)
  • 1958, U.S. Sailing’s Sears Cup National Junior 3 Man Championship, 2nd Place crew (at 12 yrs. old)
  • 1958-1963, Sears Cup Finalist, beginning at age 12, crew and skipper
  • 1961, Newport Harbor Junior Sailing Champion, Newport Harbor, CA (2019 NSHOF member Dave Ullman finished in 2nd place)
  • 1961, Snipe Class Crosby Cup Winner (National Championship Qualifying Series Senior/Adult Division), 1st Place, Old Saybrook, CT (at age 15 against 60 plus boats)
  • 1962, Junior National Snipe Champion, 1st Place, Seattle, WA (age 16)
  • 1963, Junior National Snipe Champion, 1st Place, Fort Worth, TX (age 17)
  • 1964, U.S. Sailing’s Mallory Cup National Adult Men’s Championship, 2nd Place, Detroit, MI (at age 18 — 2nd place to 2019 NSHOF member Buddy Freidrichs)
  • 1964-68, Member of University of Southern California Varsity Dinghy Team, helped to establish team as a Varsity Sport
  • 1965, Selected to U.S. Collegiate Team Racing “All-Stars” to tour the United Kingdom, as a Freshman, winning the British-American trophy for Multiple Team Racing events
  • 1965, Congressional Cup Match Racing Championship (De Facto World Match Racing Championship), 2nd Place crew/tactician
  • 1967, Congressional Cup Match Racing Championship, 1st Place (at age 21, remains youngest winning helmsman to date – winning over a fleet including Bob Bavier, Ted Turner, Arthur Knapp, and Barney Flam).
  • 1967, Intercollegiate National Champion, 1st Place Skipper in A-Division fleet racing and leading USC team to overall Henry Morse Trophy National Championship win and top end-of-year ranking.
  • 1967, Collegiate Team Racing National Champion, skipper of U. of Southern California’s 3-on-3 team racing national championship squad
  • 1967, First Team Selection to College Sailing’s first-ever All-American Sailing Squad and Member of Nationally Ranked U. of Southern California Sailing Team
  • 1967, Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Hall of Fame, inducted into both Regatta and Competitors Divisions
  • 1967, Overall Transpac Race winner on CAL-40 “Holiday Too” (Co-Skipper and Tactician with brother Skip Allan -Youngest winning skippers to date)
  • 1967, U.S. Sailing’s Prince of Wales Match Racing Championship, 1st Place, Martha’s Vineyard, MA (defeating Bill Cox in finals with 2019 NSHOF Members Robbie Doyle competing as well).
  • 1968, First Team Intercollegiate All-American and Member of Nationally Ranked U. of Southern California Sailing Team
  • 1968, Everett Morse National College Sailor of the Year Trophy, Inaugural Winner
  • 1969, 5.5 Metre North American Champion, 1st Place (tactician to NSHOF member Ted Turner)
  • 1970, Flying Dutchman North American Championships, 2nd Place to Canadian Hans Fogh
  • 1971, Selected to U.S. Olympic Training Team (Flying Dutchman), funded to train and compete throughout Europe.
  • 1971, Flying Dutchman World Championships, 4th Place, La Rochelle, France (65 boats competing)
  • 1972, U.S. Olympic Sailing Trials (Flying Dutchman Class), 1st Place, Buffalo, NY
  • 1972, Member of U.S. Olympic Team for Munich Games, Helmsman for Flying Dutchman Class, (Tim Stearn crewing)
  • 1973, Begins campaigning multiple handicap racing boats, including Britton Chance designs, skippering and winning the Annapolis YC for overall Fall Series high-point, multiple SORC campaigns on Norlin, Farr, Peterson, and Holland designs, and One-tonners and Two-tonners 1974-1994 with customers, and Annapolis-Newport races with customers.
  • 1976, 1st Place, Skipper, Quarter Ton North American Championship, Hilton Head, SC (Farr 727 “WHY WHY”)
  • 1977, Sometime sparring partner helmsman on “INTREPID” for the French America’s Cup team FRANCE 1, Newport, RI
  • 1978, Begins campaign in newly established J-24 Class which brings together many of the world’s top, young helmsmen. In those formative years, Allan consistently places “on the podium” at national/international level events than any other J-24 helmsman, including John Kolius, Augie Diaz and NSHOF members Dave Ullman and Dave Curtis.
  • 1978-1982, Chesapeake J-24 Highpoint Champion
  • 1978, J-24 Inaugural North American Championship, 3rd Place of 64
  • 1979, J-24 Inaugural Mid-Winter Championship, 3rd Place of 52
  • 1979, J-24 Inaugural World Championship, 4th Place of 78 (winning 2 of 5 races)
  • 1979, Congressional Cup Match Racing Championship, 3rd Place
  • 1981, J-24 Mid-Winter Championships, 2nd Place of 64
  • 1985, Class Winner of Block Island Race Week, 1st Place, Skipper, Farr 33 “Sugar”
  • 1985, Class Winner of Block Island Race Week, 1st Place, Skipper, Farr 33 “Sugar”
  • 1985, Chesapeake Bay IOR-B Highpoint Winner, 1st Place Skipper, Farr 33 “Sugar”
  • 1987-1989 Pro-Sail Professional Formula 40 Catamaran Series, 2nd Place in Overall Money Winnings
  • 1995, Congressional Cup, 3rd Place
  • 1998-2000, Melges 24 Annapolis Fleet Champion
  • 1999, J-30 North American Championships, 1st Place (Tactician)
  • 2000, Elected to Annapolis Maritime Hall of Fame for Sailing and Sail making Accomplishments
  • 2001, Block Island Race Week, Overall Race Week Winner (Tactician on Farr 33 Sugar)
  • 2010, MORC Internationals, 1st Place (Tactician)

Contributor Honors and Accomplishments

  • Member Fales Advisory Committee at USNA for sailing. 1974-1994.
  • Varsity Dinghy Team Head Coach at U.S. Naval Academy, 1968-1971. Quickly turned the previously unranked dinghy team into a consistently top 5 nationally ranked team. Coached outstanding All-American sailors Bill Campbell, Duby Joslin, and Dan Rugg, all of whom went on to race in America’s Cup programs. Carl Van Duyne served as Allan’s assistant coach.
  • Assistant Offshore Coach at U.S. Naval Academy 1968-1971, on boats such as “Rage” and “Severn Star”, Annapolis Newport, Bermuda races, and SORC racing.
  • Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB), Founding Member with Don Backe, Board Member (1991-2003), instrumental in securing seed funding for first boat in fleet, as beneficiary of a major grant by the Annapolis Rotary Club of which Allan was a long-standing member.
  • Member of City of Annapolis, Mayor’s Maritime Business Advisory Board, 2000-present, Vice Chairman. Advising Mayor and City Council on maritime business and waterfront issues for the City of Annapolis.
  • Advisor to Mayor, City of Annapolis, 2018-present, to establish initiatives for: underprivileged and at-risk students and the growing Hispanic community to provide hands-on sailing participation on the Chesapeake Bay and exposure to the city’s rich sailing history.
  • Board Member, Hospice Cup Race, 1995-2002, to establish fundraising and guidance to racing activities

Technical Honors and Accomplishments

  • Contributed significantly to the way today’s modern sails are designed and developed. This included using and developing the world’s first computer sail design system with Dr. Jerome Milgram of MIT, beginning in 1973.
  • Partnered with Britton Chance on rig and hull technical advances in the 5.5 Metre Class.
  • Solicited by top Naval architects, Britton Chance, Ron Holland, Gino Morelli, and Bruce Farr for developing boats and technical ideas. Specifically working with Chance in 1968 on advanced technical ideas such as underwater soap injection systems, hydraulically powdered canting masks, later to be banned for being ‘too revolutionary’. Worked with Morelli on upgrading high-speed catamaran rudders.
  • Worked with NSHOF members Lowell North and Peter Barrett at North Sails, while in college at U. of Southern California, developing and testing Finn class sails to be provided for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.
  • As a teenager, worked on technical advances in Snipes. See —Bill Robinson’s book on Expert Sailing (January 1, 1965) featured as an expert at age 16 yrs. old on developing “floppy rig” concept.
  • In Flying Dutchman, devised and promoted and engineered rig-tuning concepts such as helmsman-controlled articulating spreader angles even while hiking out, in preparation for his Olympic competition.
  • Contributed significantly to the way today’s modern sails are designed and developed. This included using and developing the world’s first computer sail design system with Dr. Jerome Milgram of MIT, beginning in 1973.
  • Established and continued to refine computerized sail making plotting and cutting capabilities from 1975-2004, often with experts at CNC industries.
  • Involved in the development of the TAPE DRIVE sail technology-one of the first directional-thread based sail construction systems, now common in the high-tech sail making arena.
  • After successfully owning and developing his own sail making company for over 40 years 1975-2015(Horizon Sails, Doyle Sails, UK Sails), Scott continues to stay on the leading edge of sail making technology with his current association as a Sails Expert with North Sails.

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