Meet Your Board Members: Herb Larrabee, Race Captain

Herb Larrabee

Herb Larrabee

Herb Larrabee is a new board member elected in November 2012. Herb grew up in south eastern Connecticut where his dad was a naval architect. Boats and sailing were always a part of his life. His racing began crewing on big boats. Later this evolved into one design sailing, J24’s, Ensigns, and others. He drove submarines during the Vietnam War. Just after leaving active duty, he met his wife Meg and was married in early 1974. Herb and Meg decided to stretch the summer season, avoid snow, and migrated south to Sarasota in 1980. They acquired a San Juan 21 which was a very active fleet at the Squadron. In 1981 their first of 2 boys was born. Herb worked at EMR which became Loral.

Herb was active with the San Juan fleet and chaired the midwinter regatta for many years. He became active with the Squadron, serving on the board as measurer. He put together the first Midwinter regatta which collected the many midwinter venues into one event. This made a better event for the participants and less stress to the Squadron. During one of the San Juan regattas, Herb was introduced to judging. He petitioned to become a judge and after a 5 year experimental mentoring program, became a certified US Sailing Judge. Unfortunately that occurred at the same time as Loral’s business was suffering and Herb was transferred to Phoenix in 1994. His serious judging career took place in San Diego and San Francisco. He was active with the Arizona Yacht Club, wrote their Race Management Guide, trained their race committees, and became a Certified US Sailing Small Boat Instructor.

Loral merged with Lockheed Martin, and in 2000, Herb was transferred to northern England as a Technical Consultant. His youngest son attended and graduated from a British high school. His oldest son transferred from the University of Arizona to the University of Maryland Europe. They all loved their British experience. Both boys left England for Arizona State and now reside in Tempe.

Herb got active with International Judging while in England. He was on the International Jury for J24 Worlds and Europeans, Melges 24 Worlds and Europeans, Farr 40 Europeans, Cowes Week, plus the Fleixstowe International Regatta as chief judge. Mixed in with this was racing a Laser at the Ripon Sailing Club and flying gliders with his youngest son.

Herb and Meg followed their boys back to the states in 2007 landing in corporate headquarters in Virginia, outside Washington DC. There Herb became involved with Intercollegiate Sailing as a judge and umpire, spending many weekends at the US Naval Academy. Before they left England, they bought a house in Sarasota with the intention of getting back to a place they both loved. In January 2012 Herb retired, moved into the house and began the remodeling of their home. Meg finished her teaching year and joined herb in Sarasota. Rejoining SSS was certainly part of the plan.

Herb volunteered to help out with the Labor Day Regatta, and there was asked to consider running for Race Captain. Herb believes the backbone of SSS is its volunteers. The mantra of the club is ‘The best Sailing Club in the World’. It has a pristine sailing location, a terrific facility, and passionate members. It has the pieces to become that mantra. The missing link is focus and training. Others in the club have started that process very successfully. Herb is anxious to accelerate the process so the club can achieve being ‘The Best Sailing Club in the World’.

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