Snake Bytes 
  Viper Class News
September 3, 2015
Picnic anyone? Viper (intentionally) beached at GYA demo - Ocean Springs Yacht Club, MS

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 


Viper 640 Class Association membership...what does it mean? Simply put, being a member of the VCA means a lot. First, your membership signifies that you're an active and interested member of the Class. It also gives you the right to vote on Class issues such as leadership elections and changes to the Constitution and Class Rules. It also means that you're an owner of the Viper 640 Class itself. "What?" you may ask.
Unlike some other classes where the builder or other entity "owns" the boat's design and controls (or strongly influences class rules), the Viper 640 is a "member owned" boat. We, the Class members, own the Viper 640 design and
Viper 640 Class President Dr. Jim Sears
plans. We have the right to purchase the hull molds should Rondar Raceboats decide to stop making the Viper (Nothing to worry about in that regard), and we, as a democratic organization have total control over boat design evolution, sail inventory management, and all Class operations. That being said, without a current Class membership you can't race in Class Sanctioned regattas.
"So Jimbo," you ask, "what should I do?"
  1. If you haven't renewed your membership for 2015 NOW is the time to do it. Simply click on this link and you can update your VCA membership. I'd strongly suggest that you use the Automatic Renewal option HERE
  2. Then, go to the Member Forum section on the Website and read the Class Rule change that has been proposed. Join the discussion and let us know where you stand on that issue.
  3. Then, in about two weeks all Class Members will receive an e-mail from Class Administrator Buttons Padin asking you to vote on the proposed rule. The results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting at the North Americans in October.
Viper sailing is a good thing. Viper 640 Class Association membership is a good thing, too. Viper sailors who are current Class Members enjoy the best of both. If you're not a 2015 member, update your Viper 640 Class membership today.


The vote by the GYA member clubs to select a new club Capdeville boat (a big boost for whichever boat is selected) is this Saturday, September 5, at 1000 and we're crossing our fingers that the votes fall for the Viper 640. Regardless of the final tally, the Viper 640 Class would like to thank the following people whose efforts have made the Viper a household name in yacht clubs along the Gulf Coast:
Rondar Raceboats: Dan Tucker (team leader), Paul Young, and Mason Sheen
Gulf Performance Sailing and Viper owners: Craig Wilusz and Deborah Deats-Wilusz
Viper sailors: Don and Tracey Faircloth, John Ballatin, Kip Keelin, Brad Boston, Tim Carter
Viper Class Administrator: Buttons Padin

As told by Eddy Parker, Viper 108, FEAR THE HOE!

I want to share with other Viper sailors the day I had recently. It was a great day for training young people how to sail a Viper with winds mostly in the 8-12 knot range. I went out with eight juniors ranging in age from a very small eight year old, to my daughter Sarah who is 19. I was in a whaler switching kids in and out of the Viper all day long and after five hours of sailing they were bushed...but all had a great time. The loads on the boat were such that a 15 year old girl was able to hoist and douse the spinnaker, they all took turns driving up and downwind, and there were only a few instances of the spinnaker getting in the water; but hey, it's shrimp season on the river so all good.

I was really impressed by how well all of the kids handled the boat and how easily they went from Optis and 420s to driving a Viper. It was a really great day of being on the water with a bunch of good kids. Their dads are now unhappy with me now as they are all clamoring for them to get a Viper. Oh, well!

Editor's note: here's another couple of shots with juniors and families sailing a Viper.
Family Sailing A Viper - Long Beach, CA, courtesy of Nigel Brownett
Finish your snacks and "set" your brother!



On August 8-9, 2015, Viper sailor  Deborah Deats-Wilusz with crew  Jennifer Grant , and  Kerrie Serpa , became the 2015 Gulf Yachting Association Women's PHRF Champion sailing Viper 100. The event was hosted by Pass Christian Yacht Club. Saturday's racing consisted of two races with Deb's Viper sailing against a J/30 and Carpi 25 among other competitors. Race 1 was a W2 with winds ranging from 6 -10 knots and 1.5 mile legs, Race 2 was a W1 with wind of 12-18 knots with the windward mark set at 2 miles. Sunday was a 10-mile distance race around Mississippi Sound. Deb and her crew won all three races taking home the Championship. As Deb said, "Who said women can't sail a Viper?" Congratulations Deb, Jennifer, and Kerrie.

Team Cobra, traveling the longest distance to the regatta, sailed the shortest around the racecourse to win the 2015 Pacific Coast Championship. Class Governor Tim Carter with Farr 40 bow woman Sammy Herrin drove 17 hours to Fern Ridge Reservoir outside Eugene, Oregon to meet up with former Class President  Peter Beardsley , who flew nearly 3,000 miles from New York. The team nearly became the second team in class history to ace a major class championship, thwarted only in the second race by fellow Alamitos Bay Yacht Club sailors Nigel Brownett and Rachel Ellis , who teamed with Class Treasurer Tony Chapman from Arizona Yacht Club to take second overall.


October 15-18, Larchmont Yacht Club, Larchmont, NY

The 2015 Viper 640 North American Championship is shaping up to be the largest Viper regatta ever! At this writing, there are 48 boats registered and several additional teams are expected to register, with the goal of a 50+ Viper starting line in sight. The Championship is also shaping up to be a memorable one on shore, too, as the folks at host Larchmont Yacht Club are looking to deliver a highly memorable Championship Experience.

There is still time to register, there are still boats available to charter, and (if you act quickly) housing can still be arranged. For more information and to register, click HERE.


If you're planning on sailing in the Viper NAs in Larchmont October 15-18, here are some additional northeast Viper regattas you can use as tune-up events:

Sept. 5-6: Fishers Island Sound Viper Invitational - a race around historic Fishers Island Saturday, with a party at exclusive Fishers Island Yacht Club Saturday night with the 70+ other boats in attendance, followed by one design racing just for Vipers in Fishers Island Sound Sunday.  Nine Vipers registered so far.
More information/registration  HERE

Sept 19-20 - Stamford Yacht Club One-Design Regatta, Stamford Yacht Club, Stamford, CT. Eight Vipers registered so far. 
More information/registration HERE

Sept 26-27 - Great Lakes Viper Championship/Lake Champlain Viper Regatta, Lake Champlain Yacht Club, Shelburne VT. Eleven Vipers registered so far. Eleven Vipers registered so far.  
More information/registration HERE

Oct 10-11 - High Performance Dinghy Open / Pre NAs, American Yacht Club, Rye, NY. Thirty-five Vipers registered so far. 
More information/registration  HERE .


If you wish to be taken off the Viper 640 Class Association's database, please send an e-mail to Buttons Padin at and simply put UNSUBSCRIBE on the subject line. If you're getting multiple copies of Snake Bytes, shoot Buttons a note and say MULTIPLE COPIES.