Marilee Allan: Women’s college sailing pioneer
Published on October 13th, 2023
by Tom Darling, WindCheck magazine
Women racing sailboats isn’t new. The picture on the cover of Mystic Seaport Museum’s book on women and boating, On Land and On Sea, depicts the wife of an English lord at the helm of a massive J boat. In barely two generations from that time, women’s sailing has catapulted to an international sport across hundreds of countries.
Marilee Jane Allan was the first female intercollegiate skipper I ever met, and she was one of the trailblazers in women’s sailing, captain of a 1970s dynasty at the college level and the first woman elected to the Intercollegiate Hall of Fame.
She had come to Princeton University from California as part of the first full class of freshman women. Her father, Robert Allan, was a prominent businessman with a string of boats from a Fishers Island 31 to the West Coast offshore icon, the Cal 40. Her brothers were offshore and one-design rock stars, and she became the nucleus of a Princeton Women’s Sailing Team that was a dynasty in the 1970s, winning Nationals 1973 -‘77, a string yet to be matched. – Full report