Snake Bytes
  Viper Class News
March 6, 2015
Miami Scorch 2015

The Viper Class is a true grass roots Class that is driven by it's members and volunteers that are fellow Viper owners and sailors. It's time to renew your membership for 2015. You can do so here


 2015 Viper 640 Class Membership 



If you have crew, friends, family, enemies, or other nondescript human beings that you think would enjoy Viper Class News, they can sign up here 

Upcoming Events                                                     
 East Coast

 4/16-19, Charleston Race WeekCharleston Harbor Resort & Marina, Mt. Pleasant South Carolina


5/23-24 Larchmont Yacht Club Sport Boat Grand Prix Larchmont, NY


Viper Atlantic Coast Champs,

Bacardi Newport Sailing Week, June 27-27, Newport Yacht Club, Newport, RI

Details available soon


Gulf Coast 

5/2-3 GYA Opening Regatta, Fort Walton Yacht Club, Fort Walton Beach, FL


West Coast



The summer Viper regatta season is fast approaching, and I'm already behind on my fix-it/replace-it list...but I'm also looking at the calendar at all the great reg attas around the country. I know  we west-coasters have a trip to Oregon in August for the PCC's and then a trip east for the NAs at Larchmont Yacht Club in October. 

These major trips take some major planning, so don't forget to start preparations EARLY! We've already started getting the logistics sorted for our 6-boat trailer trip to Larchmont. Know that the Viper website has been updated so you can search regattas by geographic region as well as by country to help your planning.

See ya on the water!



Brad Boston, Lee Shuckerow, and Nick Loundsbury Win EFG Viper 640 Pan American Championship

Viper veterans Brad Boston and Lee Shuckerow, joined by new teammate Nick Loundsbury, won a hard-fought Bacardi Miami Sailing Week and EFG Viper 640 Pan-American Championship. The defending North American champs avenged last year's one point loss, though it didn't come easy, with the overall regatta leader changing three times among three different teams in the final three races.

Read More
Video Recap

Three Podium Spots, Three Different Flags at the EFG Winter Cup

Miami is known as the gateway to Latin America. For Viper sailors, it may also be the jumping off point for points east. If you hailed from an island in the Atlantic Ocean, you probably did well at the 2015 EFG Winter Cup. Bermudians Somers Kempe, Butch Agnew and Adam Barboza never won a race and were over early in the penultimate race, but scored four seconds to edge Lawrence Crispin's team from England by two points. Racing was extremely close, as third and fourth were only a single point out of second, with Ireland's Anthony 
O'Leary beating Peter Bauer's Wild Hogs team on a tiebreaker.

Read More

SoCal Report
Submitted by Brad Milligan

Mid-March saw 11 Vipers setting out from Coronado Yacht Club battling to do battle in the Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD Regatta. While we saw the AP flag on numerous occasions in order to let the wind fill in, once racing we had anywhere from 6-17 knots of breeze in typical warm southern California weather. Several delays due to the local Santa Ana wind pattern made racing difficult for all. Our typical sea breeze struggled to build most days until early afternoon and even then shifting 20-40 degrees during a race. Alex Steele on Last Call ran away with the win followed by Tom Blanton on Kimi in second and Chuck Tripp on Hot Mess in third.

Up next is Cal Yacht Club's Cal Race Week in late May and the always well attended Long Beach Race Week at the end of June. Rumors continue to persist about a 24 hour team relay race at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, a first for the west coasters that could prove popular. Stay tuned.
As Jim Sears said in his comments above, major regattas require major planning. Here are updates on some key ones:

Charleston Race Week - April 17-19
It's not too late to go!

Yes, CRW is only a few weeks away...but if you hurry you can still put together your program to sail in this final southeast major of the year. There will be close to 20 Vipers on the starting line for three great days of racing. The post-race hospitality is top-notch, the local area is a great place for dining and sightseeing, and there is even still room in the Viper bays to dock your boat.

Maybe it's time to finally put away the warm clothes and get yourself and your crew to Charleston. For full information, Click Here

GULF YACHTING ASSOCIATION'S OPENING REGATTA - Calling all Viper Sailors To Help With GYA Selection Process

You've heard that the Viper 640 Class is a finalist in the selection of a new boat for interclub competition in the Gulf Yachting Association. The winner will be determined on Labor Day Weekend, September 2015. This is our only opportunity to secure the success of the Viper Class between the Florida Panhandle and the Texas coast. The GYA has over SIX HUNDRED Flying Scots, the previous boat used for the past 49 years. We all want the Viper to be the boat selected! 

To help the GYA clubs in their boat assessments, Rondar has two Vipers currently in the Gulf for demos and inclusion in various GYA regattas. While the boats are there, experienced Viper sailors aren't. The Class is asking you to consider going south for one or more of these demos/regattas to help present the Viper in a positive light.

The Class and Rondar need your help with the promotion of the Viper, to ensure that we win the competition. Please sign up to come to a Viper demo or regatta, to sail a regatta on a Rondar Works boat with a local crew, or assist with a demo. If you have any questions about an event you're thinking of volunteering for, please contact Craig Wilusz at 850.797.2933 or Dan Tucker at 781.799.8132. 

Click on this link to see which regattas and demos need your help where you can also sign-up. GYA Schedule

Please sign-up to help grow our Class! 

Bacardi Newport Sailing Week Presented by EFG 2015 / Viper 640 Atlantic Coast Championship - NEW DATES ANNOUNCED

Bacardi, EFG, and Studio Milano, the trio that brought you Bacardi Miami Sailing Week and previous Bacardi Newport Sailing Weeks, have announced that the dates for the 2015 Viper Atlantic Coast Championship have changed to June 27-28 with registration on June 26. Final logistics are still being worked out by the sponsorship team and will be announced shortly. In the meantime, the following is known: the event will be hosted by the Newport Yacht Club with some of the entertainment in the adjacent property. Boats can be launched and hauled at Sail Newport, also the event's Race Committee, but all boats will overnight in the water at NYC.

As this event is one of Viper Sponsor EFG's major events, it will also be the Viper 640 Atlantic Coast Championship, so you will want to make plans NOW to sail in this important event. More information will be coming soon on and look for posts on the Viper website ( in the next week or so.

2015 Viper North Americans and the Larchmont Yacht Club Sport Boat Grand Prix

Everyone should be setting their sights on Larchmont, NY for next October 15-18. Event Chair and former Viper Class President Peter Beardsley is anticipating 50-60 boats on the line. With Butch Ulmer as PRO, you can be assured of a well run, competitive regatta. For those not in the northeast, planning should start now as you'll need to coordinate lodging, travel, etc., so don't wait.

And, if you're thinking about racing in Larchmont next October, you should plan on sailing in the LYC Sport Boat Grand Prix over Memorial Day weekend, May 23-24. It is anticipated that the Viper start will have 25+ boats on the line joined by starts for J/70s, K6s, and possibly other sport boats. This is a great tune-up for the NAs as the late spring and early fall conditions are often very similar. Plus, Larchmont Yacht Club hosts world-class regattas in its historic venue. For more information or to register, Click Here

Sarasota Viper 640 Winter Circuit

Talking about pre-planning...mark your calendars now for the 2015-16 Viper 640 Winter Circuit with the Sarasota Viper 640 Fleet. The Sarasota folks are looking forward to building off the momentum from the fantastic 2014-15 circuit and sailing at a great venue in warm weather with excellent hospitality. Plans are being developed to have a clinic the day before the kick-off races (Dec. 11) so everyone can be on their game as the Circuit starts. Make your plans now to attend this great event while, for many, it means escaping the chilly conditions of the northern winter.

December 12-13 (Clinic on the 11th)
January 9-10
February 6-7

Parts is Parts: worn spin retrieval line block
Submitted by Buttons Padin

Often it's the little things that make the difference between glory and ignominy. Getting your spinnaker down quickly to enable a competitive mark rounding is one of those critical little things. On our boat, I do the retrieval but, for a while, have been having a really hard time getting the chute back into the boat. We have an oversized bag, have "millionaire's tape" on the bow, and at 210 lbs. I'm not a weakling. So why was it so hard? During the EFG Winter Cup I actually tore my hand through my heavy Gill gloves pulling in the chute. Houston, we have a problem.

Sailing back from the Miami Scorch, we had Brendan Larrabee ride back with us as a fourth. After surfing across Biscayne Bay it was time to douse. I decided to let Brendan (a young, strapping guy even larger than I) see how he'd do. Bam...he hit the wall, too. What the heck was going on?

Well, it was a little thing: the small bullet block at the aft end of the retrieval line block system that had worn out after years of heavy loads. The ball bearings had all fallen out and the sheave was now square. Voila! I'm not a 210 lb. weakling after all. We replaced the small bullet with a larger, more durable 40 mm block and went on to sail Bacardi Miami Sailing Week with great, fast, smooth douses. Caught a few of you at mark roundings to boot.

It's a good idea to check all your blocks regularly as gear failures will stand between you and your well-deserved glory.

Thanks to Viper Executive Committee and resident tech guru Fletcher Boland for working with Strawberry Marketing on the continued refinement of our Class website. The latest tweak was that you can now search for regattas by region as well as by country. That means you can plan your racing schedule more easily and efficiently. Thanks, Fletch.

If you haven't paid your Class dues yet this year, you can do so easily by Clicking Here. When you're there, it's recommended that you take advantage of the option for automatically renewing your dues in the following years. Helps you...and helps the Class. Click here to join. 

Also, many of you have purchased new sails for 2015 yet haven't ordered your sail buttons yet. Please don't go racing with these sails until they are registered with the Class. To do so, Click Here


If you received more than one copy of this Newsletter, please e-mail Class Administrator Buttons Padin at and say Multiple Copies.  If you want to unsubscribe from this Newsletter, send an e-mail saying Unsubscribe