Snake Bytes
  Viper Class News
June 5, 2015
Bob Matthews' trio demonstrates synchronized blow through gybe choreography at the Larchmont Yacht Club Sportboat Grand Prix.
Photo: Maureen C. Koeppel Photography

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                                                     


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

Atlantic City Race Week
August 8-9 
Farley State Marina
Atlantic City, NJ





West Coast


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

Details to soon

Dr. Jim Sears

Fleet building... it's probably THE most important aspect of class longevity in one-design racing. It seems that a class that can get younger sailors interested in the boats will soon see an uptick in fleet numbers as new teams jump in.

One strategy that we will be starting out here on the west coast, thanks to Gov. Timbo, is to pick a few, low-key regattas and require a junior sailor be part of the crew. When Timbo first brought this up, it seemed like a no-brainer idea and I was surprised that we hadn't thought of it years ago. After all, how many times have we been rigging our Vipers in the club yard while the juniors are dollying their Sabots, Optis, or FJs to the launch ramp? The comments are always the same..."Wow! What kind of boat is that? Looks fast!" or "Man, that looks fun!" or "What does F.N.G. stand for? (um... FUNNY Nice Guy...)

I often hear the kids talking to each other, "Sure wish my dad would get one of those." My thought is: I wish your dad would get one, too!

Well, here is our chance. For the next regatta, have a junior sailor (or two-for the weight) along as crew. Vipers are easy enough to sail, so experience isn't all that important, and there's a pretty good chance YOU might learn a thing or two about kinetics. It probably won't be these kids' first time in a fleet race, but it might be their first on something other than a single-hander. They'll get to see a whole new social aspect of racing, and will soon be begging their parents to get one.

And watch your fleet grow!

~ Jimbo


Noroton Yacht Club, 23 Baywater Drive, Darien Ct.

Come sail at this great event. This is the second stop on the WLIS circuit. Sixteen boats are already registered and at least three more are expected. Should be a great event.

Joe Healey tells it this way:
Great Sailing Area only a short sail from the YC
Easy access with 2 hoists
Dinner Friday night
Plenty of Heineken Beer on tap as soon as you hit the dock
Come and rig Thursday or Friday if you want
I am told that there will be free chili and beer for Friday evening riggers
Early Registration Friday Evening
Lots of area Hotels in Stamford just Minutes away

Be There!

Newport Yacht Club, Newport, RI June 27-28

Our friends at StudioMilano have been working with the Viper Class to make the ACCs even better for us. First, they have arranged for all the Vipers to launch and haul at the host Newport Yacht Club facilities with trailer storage in a lot very close to where the boats will be docked overnight. That's a HUGE bonus vs. having to leave trailers, gear, etc. across town at Sail Newport or some other location. There are already nine Vipers registered and we're targeting 12-15.

Thanks, Sara at StudioMilano, for stepping-up for the Viper sailors. Sara adds the following comments:

Dear sailors,

The redesigned BACARDI Newport Sailing Week Presented by EFG is fast approaching; we are just three short weeks away! We appreciate your support and we look forward hosting you for a weekend of sailing along with other related in town activities. We have been busy working the logistics and we think we have a good plan in order to make it easy for you. Beginning next week we will pass on more info in order to be as organized as possible. We are also happy to host for the first time Classic Day Racers and thanks to the S Class for making BNSW an official S Class event!

As I mentioned, BNSW is not just racing, but an array of other activities such as the Art Exhibit at Bowens Wharf, nightly bar events with Bacardi, cocktail activities in the waterfront and a charitable component that will benefit Sail to Prevail. BACARDI Sailing Week's overall objective is to celebrate sailing in and out the water with both sailors and sailing enthusiasts.

For those who still need to signup registration is at:

See you in Newport,


August 8-9

Save The Date: Atlantic City Race Week will take place August 8-9 at the Farley State Marina in Atlantic City, NJ.

Atlantic City Race Week is a cool regatta sailing just of the coast of Atlantic City. Great little getaway with the night life of the casinos. Centrally located for vipers from VA to NY. Sign up today!

Registration is now live on Yacht Scoring. Click Here to sign up! 

June 26-28

Next up on the Viper Tour is Long Beach Race Week. This is the 2nd stop on the Cali Summer circuit and has been the premier Viper event on the West Coast. For the last 3 years, we have had 20+ boats participating in this three day fun fest. Breeze, bevs, bands.

Next month we venture North to Santa Barbara were we have been told that the Fess Parker Winery will do their best to drown us in grape. This will complete the Summer Series.

August 14-16

The 2015 Pacific Coast Championship will be contested during the Harvest Cup on Fern Ridge Lake just outside Eugene, OR. from Aug 14-16; mark your calendars now.

October 10-11
Information and NoR posted shortly.

October 14-18

Practice Racing October 14
Championship Racing October 15-18
Information and NoR posted shortly.

Mark your calendars. More information to come.



Over the Saturday and Sunday of the Memorial Day Weekend, 20 Viper 640s battled at the inaugural LYC Sport Boat Grand Prix. After nine races over two glorious late spring days, it was LYC Summer Member and new North Sails rep Zeke Horowitz who took home the first Grand Prix title. Sailing with an all-star team of College All-American Graham Landy, Sammy Stokes, and Alyssa Aitken, Horowitz won five races, finished second three times, and had a fifth place finish for his throw-out. With his 11 point total, he won handily with LYC's Nick Buc, Sarah Gillman, and former Danish 49er national team member Simon Karstoft on the tiller in second with 33 points. The host club's Ghost Panda team of Peter and Rachel Beardsley with David and James Owen took third-place honors beating in a tie-breaker fellow club members Ted Ferrarone and Jamie Anderson sailing with Ted's regular dinghy crew Meredith Killion, each with 42 points.

Photo slideshow by Maureen C. Koeppel

Henry Amthor

Hampton YC hosted the 2015 edition of Southern Bay Race Week over the three day weekend of May 29-31 in perfect sailing conditions. This year the Viper Class sailed 9 races over three days experiencing just about every wind direction/breeze combination possible. Our 10-boat Class was part of 93 entries in the event and we were on a strictly one-design circle with the J/70 and J/24 classes. Each day saw a new racing area and the final days location was a new one for even the locals.

Friday we sailed on the western side of Hampton Flats in a nice sea breeze that built from 10 knots up 18 knots by the end of the day. Tyler Moore, sailing with his wife Jane and boat partner Barry Allardice, won the day with all top three finishes. Geoff Ewenson, sailing with his wife Mary and Brendan Drinkwater, sailed well with all top five finishes. Steve Taylor, sailing with brand new Viper sailors Chris Pfrang and Sterling Spruill, had all top six finishes including two race wins as the breeze came on. Fourth on the day was David Eberwine sailing with his boat partners Doug & Henry Amthor.

Submitted by Tim Carter

Cal Race Week (May 30 - 31) continues to be a highlight for many boats as more and more racers discover the pleasure of late spring sailing in Marina del Rey, with afternoon breezes in the low to mid-teens and perfect temperatures for racing around the buoys.

The Viper class consisted of nine boats this year, but don't let that fool you. Any one of these boats could be leading at the weather mark. Just ask Stephen Brown who showed excellent speed with his new rags, while also seeing that sailing with two (Carson Reynolds) was pretty quick as well.

Breeze on Saturday was a bit spotty and shifty, but enough to be hiking, while Sunday it filled in nicely to about 12 knots for the final two races of the series.

California Yacht Club has won U.S. Sailing's St. Petersburg trophy for excellence in race management, and it showed again this weekend with only one postponement due to lack of wind Saturday morning.

The Viper 640 class is looking forward to a large turnout for Long Beach Race Week. Remember the North American' can't pass that up!

Darren Gilbert

The 2015 Bayview One Design regatta is in the books, and a big congratulations goes out to Jerry Wendt on Viper 150 for winning his first Viper regatta. Ed Furry on Sail22 and Ed Kofski on DamnYouKofski came 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

We had our largest turnout for the BODs yet with 9 boats registered and 8 making it out to the line. The breeze was shifty and up and down all weekend. Race committee ran 3 races on Friday, and 2 on Saturday. Unfortunately cold, rain, and too much wind came in on Sunday and the R/C decided to abandon on shore.

A big thanks goes out to Steve Conger for organizing the fleet to sail out of Crescent Sail Yacht Club. The event was hosted out of Bayview, but the Viper circle was close to Crescent and they had plenty of staging room plus 2 hoists.

After racing, the party was hosted back at Bayview with rum, beer, and food. The Viper fleet (as always) was well represented at the party.

Pictures from the weekend can be found here.

The Bayview One Design regatta is an annual event hosted in Detroit. We would like to extend an invite to all Vipers to attend next year.

The next event on the Great Lakes circuit is the Nepean One Design regatta in Ottawa, Ontario. It's scheduled for the weekend of June 20-21. We already have 7 Vipers registered.

A link to the regatta is here.