Snake Bytes
  Viper Class News

May 2, 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 




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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


Putting the "Social" in Social Media

Mingling around the sailing club after the racing is one of my favorite parts of racing...lots of stories and exaggerations about the day's events. "Did y'all see Timbo's nice comeback after getting hung up on the windward mark?"


Each fleet seems to congregate together as its own "party-within-a-party," and it's always cool when you notice that your fleet has the best party going on.  I've had plenty of non-Viper sailors come up to me after a loud "fleet toast" and jealously ask if we have as much fun on the water!  The after-race party can be a great fleet-building tool within our local sailing clubs, it's important to realize that social media can be used the same way as a CLASS-building tool, with a regional, national, and global audience. 

Each post someone makes on the Viper Class's Facebook page ( can potentially be seen on hundreds of friend's news-feeds and can act in the same way as a rowdy crowd on the yacht club patio.  A quick glance at the Viper 640 Facebook page today revealed a video clip from 2012 Widbey Island Race Week after-race frivolity featuring former class secretary Garrett Johns, class Governor Timbo Carter and... wait for it... ... ... a dunk tank!  Click on "share" and pretty soon this vid had been seen by hundreds of my non-Viper-sailing friends.  "Wow, those Viper guys sure like to have fun" is the message". That's one very effective way to grow the class.


Our Class Forums ( are another place that potential Viper owners will go to see how active we are as a class.  In addition to the regatta announcements, tuning and boat-handling tips, it's the friendly banter among members that showcases our class's "fun-factor" and can help with growth.  So let's keep the "party" going and make all the other classes jealous!


See ya on the water!


Jason Carroll, sailing with fellow Larchmont Yacht Club members John Baxter and Chad Corning, captured his second Viper 640 Charleston Race Week victory. With 15 Vipers sailing eight races over three days from Friday, April 17 - Sunday, April 19, it was Carroll's regatta as soon as the second heat was in the books.

Plans are now set for the two major Viper 640 regional championships: the Atlantic Coast Championship (as part of Bacardi Newport Race Week racing June 27-28) and the Pacific Coast Championship hosted by the Eugene (OR) Yacht Club August 14-16. It's time to make your plans to participate in these events.

Viper Atlantic Coast Championship, Newport, RI, June 27-28
Recently it was announced that Bacardi, EFG, and STUDIOMILANO have moved the dates of their Bacardi Newport Sailing Week to the weekend of June 27-28 with registration on Friday, June 26. The event will be operating out of the Newport Yacht Club in downtown Newport with the adjacent Casey Marina co-hosting and helping with logistics. Boats can still be launched at Sail Newport (also the RC for the event) but will be berthed at NYC in the heart of town and social activities. Expect the same level of Bacardi hospitality as enjoyed in Miami and past Newport Sailing Weeks, and great racing. 

For more information and to register for Bacardi Newport Sailing Week and compete for the Viper 640 Atlantic Coast Championship, click HERE.

Viper Pacific Championship, Eugene, OR, August 14-16
The 2015 PCCs will be held as part of the Harvest Day Regatta in Eugene Oregon August 14-16 and raced out of the Eugene Yacht Club. EYC is located at Fern Ridge Lake less than a half hour from I-5. EYC has hosted several small boat National Championships including Laser, Thistle, and S20s just to name a few. It is a great place to sail and the Viper will be right at home!

To get your planning going, hotels are plentiful in the Eugene area with Springfield, OR, being a good location if you are looking to hotel it (about a 20 min drive) plus camping is allowed on the grass at the club, lakeside under the trees. It is free and, if you are the camping type, it doesn't get any easier than that! In addition, Richardson State park is located just adjacent to the club. Richardson has plenty of camp sites as well as RV hookups.

The dive from SoCal is only about 13hrs so it can even be banged out in one day. Registration for the Harvest Day Regatta (our PCC's) in not yet available but contact Garrett Johns with any questions or expressions of interest so he can plan better. E-mail Garrett at

PNW One-Design Regatta - Seattle, WA, May 16-17
Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle presents the First Annual POD Regatta (PNW One-Design). This two-day sailing event is the second event on the 2015 Pacific Northwest Viper Schedule. Round the buoys races start off Shilshole Bay at 1100 each day. The CYC clubhouse is open after racing for great parties serving food and drinks. Two days. Two courses. Awesome racing. Fun Parties. And the winning crew gets a trip to an island that starts with the letter "B!"
Larchmont Yacht Club Sportboat Grand Prix - Larchmont, NY - May 23-24
A new regatta being hosted by Larchmont (NY) Yacht Club the weekend of May 23-24, 2015, to include Viper 640s, K6s, and J/70s, with other high performance classes to be invited, too. Conceived to be a springtime version of the popular HPDO, This regatta will be held in the same waters as the 2015 North American Championship in October and similar sailing conditions can be anticipated in May.

14 Vipers are already registered!

Notice of Race and Registration HERE

Bayview One-Design Regatta
The first Great Lakes event on the 2015 Viper regatta schedule is the Bayview One-Design Regatta. Hosted by Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, it will be sailed the weekend of May 29-31. This will be the 5th year that the Vipers have taken part in this regatta and it's always a well run event with great parties. As last year, the Vipers will be sailing out of Crescent Sail Club. Darren Gilbert ( ) and Steve Conger ( ) are the contacts for this event.

Eight boats are already registered!

Notice of Race and Registration HERE.

Southern Bay Race Week, Hampton, VA, May 29-31
Hosted by the Hampton Yacht Club, this regatta promises to be three great days of Viper racing on southern Chesapeake Bay. Nine Vipers are already signed-up so don't miss out on the fun.

Notice of Race and Registration HERE

No need to recreate the wheel every time you host an event. If you're chairing a regatta, contact Class Administrator Buttons Padin ( ) and he can provide you with the contact information of all the Viper sailors in your area.

Seeking Viper 640 Regatta Managers
In a recent Executive Committee meeting it was agreed to create a position of Viper Regatta Manager with the express purpose of coordinating the scores of Viper regattas run every year. With the objective of holding better Viper regattas - not necessarily more regattas - this person would work with Regional Regatta Managers to coordinate and balance schedules as well as oversee promotion of events. If you're interested in being considered for either the National or one of the Regional Managers, please contact Class Administrator Buttons Padin at . The EC is not looking for this to become anyone's "full-time job," but rather a facilitator for the regional Viper movers and shakers.


As you may have heard, a severe 60-75 knot line squall blew through the PHRF Dauphin Island Race on Mobile Bay, AL, last weekend and took the lives of a number of sailors as well as sinking over ten boats. Viper sailors Don and Tracey Faircloth were sailing their Pearson Flyer and escaped injury but not a fair share of trauma. Don's Miami Viper shipmate Lee Creekmore was less fortunate, sadly losing one of his crew, Kris Beall, 27, when the squall hit his boat. All our thoughts and prayers go to all the Dauphin Island Race sailors and their families.

Although this tragic situation is at the forefront of the Gulf Yachting Association as it prepares for its Opening Regatta this weekend, we must look forward to collectively presenting the Viper to GYA member clubs for consideration as their next Capdevielle regatta boat (think 50+ boats added to the fleet). This weekend is the GYA's Opening Regatta and there is much ado with Vipers sailing in it. Look for a special edition of Snake Bytes during the middle of next week with a full recap of the event as well as a list of regattas/demos when Viper Class Association members are being asked to volunteer and help sail one of the Rondar demo Vipers in a GYA regatta. Keep your eyes posted for that special issue.

Zeke Horowitz just finished second at Charleston Race Week and has some tips to share on making a Viper go. He is new to the Viper Class and also a new member of the North Sails One-Design team. A College-of Charleston graduate with years of yacht club sailing directing under his belt, Zeke is a great addition to the Viper 640 family. He's also available to share other tips and you can contact him at .

Article by Zeke Horowitz

While the weather in Charleston certainly didn't live up to the hype, the racing and southern hospitality definitely did. Despite some less than ideal conditions, we were able to get in eight races on the Viper course and came away with many great memories of fun racing, and fun social gatherings at the beach party! My team came away with some very valuable lessons about how to keep to the boat moving as fast as possible. 
Photo: Sander van der Borch
The biggest lesson I learned about the Viper is how sensitive it is to the "mode" you are sailing in, both upwind and downwind. I was very conscious on the upwind legs about making sure that I was keeping the jib pressed and the bow down to generate as much power as possible. This "press mode" quickly turned into a very high and fast mode when the breeze was relatively light and the water was flat. I made sure that if the boat ever felt like it was flattening out too much, I would gently pull the tiller towards me and pull the main in that last inch to load the rig back up. Once everything felt loaded, I would hike the boat flat and gently let the helm down to get as much height as possible. The boat loves to have the main trimmed hard so I was constantly checking my leech tell-tales and making sure that I had the mainsheet as tight as possible without stalling. 

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. Also, if you want to add your crew to the mailing list for Snake Bytes, send your crew's information to Buttons, too.