Skip Allan
Wylie Custom 27
Homeport: Capitola, CA
Age: 63

Skip has been involved in sailing and racing most of his 63 years, and did his first of 27 races to Hawaii 47 years ago. One of his most memorable Transpacs was in'65 aboard the 72' ketch TICONDEROGA when they battled through a tropical storm to narrowly beat STORMVOGEL and set a new elasped time record. In'67, Skip and his brother sailed the family Cal-40 to an overall win in the Transpac, and he never looked back, winning the Congressional Cup match racing championship in 1968, and later skippering the famous IMP to win the '77 SORC and Fastnet Race. In '79, again in England for the Admiral's Cup, Skip was aboard IMP for the infamous Fastnet Race storm in which 15 lives were lost. Though his obituary was printed in the NY times, IMP actually safely finished that stormy race in 5th place.

In 1975, while working at Tom Wylie's boat shop in Alameda, Skip and Tom, with the help of many friends, built his 27 foot performance cruiser WILDFLOWER from the Half-Tonner mold. Asked why the beefed up construction, Skip replied "I'm going into ice," something he did with the boat on subsequent voyage to Alaska. Knowing he'd be mounting a self steering vane, Skip sawed off the tip of the transom to make things more vertical. He also added a large skeg, and later when he found the boat floated down on her lines, took a chainsaw to the bottom of the keel.

In 1978, Skip and WILDFLOWER won the first Singlehanded Farallones Race and subsequently entered the first Singlehanded Transpac. In those days WILDFLOWER had no engine, electrics, radio or liferaft, and all navigation was by DR and celestial. Although the self-steering disappeared from the transom on Day 3 due to a faulty factory casting, WILDFLOWER arrived safely in Hanalei after 14 days to finish second. Since then, Skip has lived aboard WILDFLOWER for 16 years and cruised and raced her 90,000 miles, including two trips to the South Pacific as far as New Zealand and return, five trips to the Pacific NW and Alaska, and six passages to Hawaii. In 2002, WILDFLOWER won the Pacific Cup Race overall as a double-handed entrant. On the return passage, a large bull sperm whale surfaced alongside WILDFLOWER and Allan found himself literally eye-ball to eyeball with a leviathan. Never had his boat felt so small.

Asked why he is competing the Singlehanded Transpac again, in the same boat, 30 years after the first one, Skip says, "the boat is due, it's the SHTP anniversary, and Hanalei is the best placed in the world to finish an ocean race."Allan will sail WILDFLOWER back to her homeport of Santa Cruz after the race, stopping enroute in the Pacific High to do research on plastic pollution in the Pacific Gyre.

Navigation: two handheld GPS, sextant


Communication: SSB radio

Food: Trader Joes

Special thanks: Synthia, Phil, Bill, and all the hardworking volunteers that make the SHTP possible. Skip also thanks Tom Wylie and WILDFLOWER for keeping him safe all these years.