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Bob Allan
Team McLube


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Sep 15, 2009, 12:38 PM

Post #1 of 2 (7552 views)
Bob Allan Log-In to Post/Reply

…the dog and the doe incident…

How specifically UC Irvine got their first three 30’ Shields keelboats with Bob Allan's help –

“At this time we had a Western crew sailing the Columbia in the America's Cup trials. “Columbia” the Amercia’s Cup yacht had belonged to Corney Shield's brother Paul, and the present skipper was Walter Podolax. Walter's wife Charlotte was on the spectator boat with Corny. She told him of our efforts to promote college sailing in the West. They exchanged phone numbers and Charlotte gave Cory’s phone number to Bob Allan.

Some time later, the story goes, Bob was at home when the dog and doe incident occurred. One evening outside his home in Carmel, Allan noticed some dogs attacking a deer. he grabbed his three-iron golf club from his golf bag and threw it at the dogs, chasing them away, in the process he destroyed the three-iron. In seeking a replacement for the broken golf club he came across one bearing the name of “Mrs. Cornelius Shields.”
(See the golf club in one of the UCI Sailing Club history photos where the golf club is being held by Jeff Allen, UCISA Commodore at the time. in the UCI Shields Christening of "Jean' in 1969. He is on the far left, next to the UCI Chancellor, :

“I called him in the East that night.” Allan said, “I said, ‘Corny, I have a golf club here with your wife’s name on it.’ He said, ‘That’s odd because we’ve never been to California.’” As the conversation turned to sailing, Allan again mentioned he was trying to promote more collegiate sailing on the West Coast.

“Well, I’m superstitious.” Shields said. “God meant for us to do something. What can I do?”
“Send us some money.” Allan said.

Three days later Shields sent a check for $50,000, which was spent to buy the boats.
UC Irvine, USC and Stanford each got a couple. Harvey-Mudd got one, and the programs grew.

Those first Shields that came to UCI were, Charolette, Jean and Columbia

Side note from Bob Allan: “I can now reveal that when I started raising funds for college sailing after World War II, Humphrey Bogart called and offered me the sum of $8,500 to buy a fleet of International 14-foot dinghies for the University of California at Los Angeles with the condition that no one know that he made the donation. This is typical of the cooperative spirit of the sailing fraternity that helps to compensated for the more "newsworthy" shortcomings such as the bickering over rules and measurements or the seemingly un-sportsmanlike attitudes express”

Tim Martin
UCI Shields Racing Skipper


Sep 15, 2009, 3:41 PM

Post #2 of 2 (7527 views)
Re: [Curmudgeon] Bob Allan [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Thankyou Tim and Rich,

I can report the "dog and doe" story is true, and I distinctly remember seeing that wayward golf club belonging to Mrs. Shields. Life was like that for Bob Allan: he loved making connections, no matter how improbable.

One evening in 1953 Dad came home from work with a rolled up set of blue prints under his arm. Over the dinner table he told us he was thinking of getting a family boat, and we had a choice. With that he pulled out a black and white photo of a sleek 8 meter, all varnish and overhangs. My heart skipped a beat.

Before we got too enthralled, Dad then unrolled the blueprints. He said they were plans for a 36 foot sloop, the smallest (28' LWL) then allowed in the Honolulu Race. Dad also said this design was by a newcomer, Bill Lapworth, and that if we would order one, so would George Griffith. I looked at the stumpy little sloop on the blue print paper and cast my vote for the vivacious 8 meter in the photo.

But it was clear Dad had already made up his mind. And over the fall of 1953 and winter of 1954, the first two Lapworth 36's took shape at Carl Chapman and Rolly Kalayjian's boatshop in Costa Mesa. Griffith's was named CASSANDRA and ours was named HOLIDAY, because, as Dad liked to brag,"nothing goes faster."

HOLIDAY was launched first at Rosan's, and we kids were terribly impressed with the fresh paint, smell of varnish, red lead, and manilla. Mom swung the champagne, but the bottle didn't break until she really whacked it a second time. HOLIDAY then slid down the railway and floated, right on her lines. The second-hand grey marine engine started right up. But whoops, it only had reverse. So we motored stately down Newport Harbor stern first until we got the sails rigged and hoisted.

Between them, HOLIDAY and CASSANDRA won most every ocean race in S.CA during the mid-'50's and really did give impetus to launching Bill Lapworth as a credible yacht designer. Things were a bit simpler in those days: only two winches, and a third mounted on the mast for the jib halyard. You had to kneel to get into the head, and the knotmeter was a bronze spring loaded lever that protruded from under the hull.

Our crew on HOLIDAY was mostly family, Dick Sweet the NHYC Noncalm instructor, and local Sea Scouts including Rob Snyder's dad Bob. Mom fed us "Channel Goup," which was said to taste as good going down as coming up. She was a happy little ship.

One day Dad said he was mounting a used #4 winch on the aft deck of HOLIDAY so that my brother Scott and I could trim the spinnaker standing in the lazarette hatch. This was a big deal, your own personal winch, and I soon forgot all about that 8 meter in the photo.


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