UK Ballad Championships 2019

2019 Albin Ballad UK Open National Championships
Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, Falmouth
24–27 May 2019

Summertime and Duchess made good time from Plymouth to Falmouth, mooring up at Falmouth Yacht Haven around 1800hrs, and making fairly fast tracks for the Yacht Club to register and listen to the Skippers Briefing.  The excellent sailing supper provided by RCYC for their own racing yachts was superb on this Friday evening and was also enjoyed by all te Ballad sailors, happily meeting up again.  Chris Davis, our Race Officer for the weekend, commented on the ‘buzz’ we created in the bar.

For the first race on Saturday morning, Falmouth Bay showed a distinct lack of wind and Jenny enjoyed reading her book from 10:45 until 11:30, while Grace (aged 10) on Alert played her music.  Channel 77 narrated changing wind speeds and directions.  Eventually we all set off.  There was a very exciting start where Duchess tacked in front of Shara of York and surprised them by not luffing them over the line.  The tactic of going for speed surprised both Shara and Duchess when Peter Noakes’ attempts to sail down and cuver Duchess resulted in Duchess overtaking to leeward.  Apparently great discussions and consternation occurred on Shara, but also on Duchess!

Duchess convincingly pulled ahead throughout the first triangle and looked unbeatable (see photos!).  However, the wind played tricks and Shara sailed past a stationary Duchess and Shebeen demonstrated their true gentlemanly nature and gave Duchess somewhat disputable water at the windward mark.  Summertime, spotting all three stationary boats at the mark, ignored any rules, nipped inside everyone, smiling sweetly, and gybed round to a convincing win.

We were all delighted to welcome David Stevens and Alert, who competed in the White Sail Division.  David, a member of Royal Cornwall YC was sailing in home waters, crewed by his 10 year old granddaughter.  Nervous about the racing rules on Friday evening he recruited Richard Bown (who many will remember sailing Toby Dee out of St Mawes).  The three of them enjoyed some delightful sailing on the Saturday.

After a very short 30 minute break, the second start took Summertime and Duchess (Janie on the loo) by surprise.  The wind came up and a ‘gripping’ race was had by all.  Shara won, followed by Duchess, then Summertime and then Shebeen.

Saturday night’s barbecue was eaten out by the water’s edge by some, and a wide ranging choice of delicious food was offered.

Sunday’s strong winds brought everybody’s foul weather gear on deck and showed OUR Falmouth Bay occupied by two enormous tankers/cargo ships – one orange, one green.  The poor mark layers had difficulty deciding where to fit in the marks!

Shara of York convincingly led both races, leaving Summertime, Duchess and Shebeen to exchange tacks and places.  Duchess managed to be over the line for both starts, but made great efforts to recover (too keen or too inept?!).  Unfortunately Shebeen had halyard problems in the afternoon winds and had to retire from race 4.

Place Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4
1stSummertimeShara of YorkShara of YorkShara of York
2ndShara of YorkDuchessSummertimeSummertime

Tim and Penny Burne and Richard and Jeannie Bown joined Chris Davis for the exceptional Prize Giving dinner.  The food and service really were outstanding and any ballads not attending missed out!  David and Grace Stevens received the new Corinthian Cup, donated by Geoff and Ros Wheeler.  Peter Morgan, the Commodore, presented the prizes which included embroidered sailing caps and engraved glasses for all entrants.  Alert also received the Endeavour Trophy.

Shebeen set off at 1000 for the Bank Holiday Monday Pursuit Race, followed 7 minutes later by Duchess and then 2 minutes later by Shara of York.  All flew spinnakers on a port pole, but after 45 minutes of heavy work Duchess opted for the No 2 jib alone.  The two spinnakers valiantly sailed on to Cannis Rock, Fowey, the line.  Shara was ‘smelling blood’ but Shebeen finished ahead at 12:40, before changing course and continuing back to Poole.

The Jean Ellis Memorial TrophyFirst overallPeter Noakes (Shara of York)
The Upper Deck TrophySecond overallChris Tyrrell (Summertime)
The Toms TrophyThird overallJanie Smallridge (Duchess)
The Noakes & Habermehl TrophyFurthest travelledKen Morgan (Shebeen)
The Corinthian CupWhite Sail CupDavid Stevens (Alert)
Variety TrophyBest EndeavourDavid Stevens (Alert)
The Old Ferry Inn TrophyPursuit RaceKen Morgan (Shebeen)