Snake Bytes
  Viper Class News

May 14, 2015
Michelle Lee, Henry Amthor, and Dustin Romey winning Viper Gulf Coast Champs - May 2015

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Upcoming Events                                                     
 East Coast

Larchmont Yacht Club Sportboat Grand Prix,
May 23-24,

 Larchmont YC,  Larchmont, NY

Southern Bay Race Week, Hampton Yacht Club, Hampton, VA,

 May 29-31 


Viper Atlantic Coast Champs, Bacardi Newport Sailing Week,
June 27-28 
Newport Yacht Club, Newport, RI



 Bayview One-Design Regatta, Bayview Yacht Club,
Detroit, MI
May 29-31


West Coast

PNW One-Design Regatta - Seattle Yacht Club, Seattle, WA
May 16-17


Viper Pacific Championship, Eugene Yacht Club, Eugene, OR, August 14-16

Details to soon



Editor's note: Major regatta results are traditionally posted online and in the monthly Snake Bytes newsletter. The GYA's Opening Regatta is a special case as it was the beginning of a summer-long on-the-water assessment of the Viper 640 vs. the VX One to select the next one-design for all GYA yacht clubs. Yup, this is a big deal and all Viper sailors should keep an eye on this process.  BP



On May 2-3, the Gulf Yachting Association held its Opening Regatta at Fort Walton Yacht Club in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Nine Vipers turned out to compete for the Viper 640 Gulf Coast Championship and to show GYA sailors what the Viper is all about. Michelle Lee of Sarasota, FL, teamed up with Henry Amthor of the Hampton, VA, fleet and his 505 partner, Dustin Romey of Miami, FL, to take home the 2015 Championship trophy. Michelle is fairly new to sailing, and her Viper "Coming in Hot" is her first keelboat (reported by her to be named for her "adventures in dockings"). Dustin is also new to the Viper, but an accomplished A-Cat and 505 sailor. Michelle said, "This was only the second regatta I've ever traveled to and it was so much fun. The boat is easy to trailer and set-up, and it was nice to meet Viper sailors from other areas who were willing to share their knowledge. I'm learning so much from the Class veterans and experienced sailors like Henry! You'll definitely see me at more regattas."

The Opening Regatta was the kickoff of the on-the-water competition with the VX One for selection as the GYA Capdevielle boat to replace the Flying Scot for their interclub one-design and PHRF competition. Three Vipers were raced by GYA sailors: Macho Slavich and his crew of Chris Wientjes and Rory Hebler from New Orleans YC. They showed just how easy it is to get up -to-speed, jumping in #234 with only some brief dockside coaching from Rondar Raceboats' Dan Tucker and finished 3rd overall in the no-throw-out regatta. This accomplishment was despite a late start in the final race on Saturday. After racing on Sunday Macho said, "What an easy boat to sail, even for a couple of old guys like Chris and me. The Viper definitely puts the emphasis on the sailor's skill. I think it's the right choice for the GYA."

Viper #225 was sailed by Rives Allen and his crew Naomi Van den Bergh and David Haubrich from St. Andrew's Bay Yacht Club. These young guns used Opening Regatta to get familiar with the Viper before sailing one in the GYA Challenge Cup Regatta in June. (The Challenge Cup is an inter-Club PHRF competition where clubs participate with boats in 3 or 4 divisions, like the Admiral's Cup.) After a disappointing Day 1, where their rig tension unwound, they tied off their turnbuckles and finished strong with two 4ths on Sunday. Said Rives, "As soon as we sorted out the rig tune and douses we were able to get our heads out of the boat and be competitive right away. Given that the Viper has a proper GYA PHRF rating, Clubs get much better value from the Viper: Capdevielle AND a Challenge Cup B-fleet boat."

The Viper Class and Rondar are both looking forward to the support of GYA sailors in the selection of the Viper as the new GYA club boat come September. Congratulations Michelle and thanks to all the sailors!

FROM THE MIDDLE TO THE TOP - Lessons learned at the GYA Opening Regatta

Shared by Michelle Lee

It was my boat, but credit definitely goes to my team, not me personally. :-)

I wanted to support the Vipers in the Gulf Coast bid, so I registered the boat for the GYA Championship knowing none of my crew could make it. During the Sarasota and Miami regattas I met and liked Barb and Henry Amthor so I invited them to come down and sail with me at GYA Champs. They said yes, but at the last minute, Barb couldn't go so we substituted one of Henry's friends from the A Cat fleet - Dustin Romey. Dustin and Henry are not only rock stars, but they are incredibly patient and willing to teach.

We had a fantastic time! Things on the boat were relaxed and friendly, while still being prepared and carefully choreographed. I loved every minute of it and learned a ton. I took multiple pages of notes. Henry did most of the skippering and after he started us on the right track and we were all in the groove, we rotated who skippered for the rest of the races and each took turns in the different roles. To my surprise, I even got a bullet when I was skippering. :-O