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Rock Hall 2010 - report from the Ballantines

Here's Tom Ballantine's report from 2010 Rock Hall Annual:

"Okay Hampton Peeps"

Following up on Charlie's transmittal of the News from Rock Hall, I have some tidbits to offer. First, hats off to Charlie and Chuck who drove the Town Car Bar across the bridge tunnel, up toward the land of wild packs of shaggy ponies to join Ian and myself at Rock Hall. Charlie does it. All the time.

Once he got to Rock Hall, he proceeded to talk the race committee into giving us our own start, on the strength of our four boat fleet. When I told him I'd heard that Ed Cassidy was home helping Laura recover from some eye surgery he took off with his hands over his ear, yelling "Lalala la la." We got our own start.

The R/C took good care of us. On Saturday there was plenty of wind, blowing in toward the club. After a four leg beat out to the course, Jocelyn and I tootled around a bit waiting for the start. We had our old sails up, since we planned to abuse them. (Interestingly, Charlie's new this year sails picked up two tears, at the batten pocket and somewhere else). For that first race, I decided I'd like to go right to get out of the waves a little, since it seemed like pressure wasn't going to be a problem. So I set up for a port tack start, hoping I might pull off something interesting. Having failed to tell Jocelyn my plan, I endured several incredulous questions as we approached Charlie and Ian, barrelling toward us on starboard, right at the line with seconds to go. We took their sterns, but were pointed the way we (well, I) wanted to go. In the event, we crossed ahead of both Charlie and Ian at our next meeting, but (alas) it was not to last. Being rusty, our boat handling slowed us down a bit, but we were game and got around the course. I don't think the results show time, but all three of us were very close at the finish: Charlie, Ian, me.

That was all 710 had in us for the day. With the our opponents indicating they'd do one more, we headed home.

In the match racing that followed, Ian made very good use of the start line and, as I understand it, pinned Charlie down twice and was able to stay ahead to win two races in a row. By the fourth race, Charlie was on to their antics and shook free at the start and tied up the scoring for the day.

On the way in, after survinging some substantial breeze, both Ian and John, his crew, managed to fall out of the Hampton. John was laid low by some dizzying aspect of work involving the painter on the foredeck. I believe Ian then tipped in, when John's counter balancing weight was lost. There would be lots of hilarity to offer here, except that Ian did, in fact, break his hand, and must now wear a cast. He joined us at Waterman's later, where several patrons compounded his problems when they mistook his red, swollen claw for that of a crustacean and hit it repeatedly with the little wooden hammers. (in fact, Ian was a good sport, and raced the following day, not knowing how macho he was being). Charlie eventually made it out to Waterman's with Chuck, but we missed him having fielded a team of daughters and nieces numbering four (my sister came with her family and stayed at a rental house with us four the weekend plus 2 days).

On Sunday, we go three races in, with much lighter air. WLW courses. My cousin crewed for me and was treated to my only victory. Laura Crabb did a great job holding it together as Charlie kept up the tacking duel for a significant part of the last leg of the third race.

Rock Hall and the RHYC were wonderful as always. RHYC let us leave the boat rigged and Jocelyn and I took our daughter Lily (5 yrs. old) for a sail, and she managed to get out on the trapeze. I'll be back next year and hope we can field a bigger fleet. I will purchase a durdings coconut, orange, or ten layer chocolate cake for the winner of the first day of the regatta, so mark your calendars. The Ballantines seem to be in a pattern fo renting a place at Rock Hall for this event, so a barbecue or cocktail party will be in order.

See you all soon. We're committed to Cambridge and our planning our other events, so I hope to see all of you on the water and off." -- Tom Ballantine

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