Ballads Have Fun
From their origins in 19?? the UK Ballad Championships have gone from strength to strength. This year they were hosted by the Royal Fowey Yacht Club over the Whitsun weekend in the most glorious conditions. Traditionally the wind saves itself up for this weekend, but the boats still race when most classes wouldn't face the conditions. But 2013 saw perfect sunshine and a steady Force 3 to 5 breeze and Fowey in Cornwall provided the usual beautiful background, where the Championships are held every third year.
However, wary of the forecasts of no wind for Sunday, May 26th, the decision was made to take advantage of the perfect Saturday weather and sail an extra race in the afternoon. So very weary crews sailed a third race on the first day, after the usual lunch stop ashore at Berrils Yard, where all the boats berthed for the weekend. Alan Harris of SailShape organised a wonderful weekend of close racing and evening events and Neil Andrew, the Race Officer, provided some excellent courses.
Over 2000 of these beautiful Swedish yachts were made in the very early days of GRP in the 1970s and they have crossed oceans to every corner of the world. 70 have found homes in the UK and are competitively raced or cruised around our waters. Current handicapping makes it difficult for Ballads to be competitive so everyone looks forward to enjoying the annual One Design racing. Numbers were down this year with only eleven entries but the usual crews had the normal enjoyable reunion.
Defending champion Shara of York (helmed by Peter Noakes) won three out of the five races and again won the Championships. Janie Smallridge sailing Duchess took second place from Balladier (Alan Harris) by a single point. Photographs and information on the website www.ukballadassociation.org
Janie Smallridge (Honorary Secretary)
2014 CHAMPIONSHIPS DARTMOUTH WHITSUNDAY WEEKEND