Sail Baltimore

December 06, 2009|By Sloane Brown | Special to The Baltimore Sun

Party guests were in a crabby state of mind at the Phillips Foods World Headquarters for Beer, Boats & Ballads, an annual fundraiser for Sail Baltimore.

That crabbiness had nothing to do with the guests' moods, and everything to do with the evening's buffet - a variety of dishes with crab as an ingredient.

"It's a good crowd, and good stuff. We went over the top this year," said board member Paul Swensen as he watched guests at the various food stations.

It wasn't just the food that appealed to fellow board member Ralph Rizzo.

"It's the eclectic mix of people, from boaters to bankers. And it's the one time a year I get to drink a Dark 'n' Stormy," Rizzo said, referring to the event's signature rum cocktail.

"Whoa. That could knock the wind out of your sails," said Jamie Braman, a Baltimore-based Web designer, as she shared one of the drinks with Cary Lynch, General Ship Repair Corp. vice president.

Sail Baltimore's executive director, Laura Stevenson, noted that in the party's six years, this one might have been the biggest yet, drawing many folks from Baltimore's maritime community. For many - like Richard Williamson, Smith Shipyard electrician, and his wife, Charlene Curley, freelance database programmer - the event is a great way to catch up with old friends.

"You'll find admiralty attorneys here, steamship agents, docking pilots, tugboat owners, stevedores. It's a cool group," said Duff Hughes, Vane Brothers president.

Sloane Brown can be contacted at sloane@sloanebrown.com.

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