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  • There is an “I am” in Miami! March 9, 2013 Day Two found some breeze today. Our favorite PRO Judy was able to bang out 5 races in today’s warm and sunny 9-12 knot breeze. The winds were shifting to the right for the majority of Fridaý, finally settling to a tactical afternoon of five and ten degree shifts causing positon changes thoughout the day. Friday’s sailing found Peter Taselaar’s Bliksem two points ahead of Brad Boston sailing a Rondar worksboat. A tie and only one point behind the Canuckistan sailmaker has the British team led by Glyn Locke on “the snake boat” and Jason Carroll’s Argo. Rounding out the top five going into the final day of racing is Phillip and Wendy Lotz on Arethusa. The racing is truly a blast down here in Miami, and most of us are sure happy we are not north of Interstate 10, with the ... ...read more
  • Fun in the Sun! March 9, 2013   No reason for question marks when determining whether it was a fun day on the water in Miami for Day 2 of Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, presented by EFG Bank.  The winds filled at 9-12 knots and held for the entire day, allowing for five additional races to be sailed to make up for Thursday’s light air affair.  With six races in the books, competitors are able to discard their worst result, which compressed the top of the standings heading into the final day.  The top four teams are separated by only three points, with reigning North American champion Pieter Taselaar and his team aboard Bliksem scoring three seconds, a third and a fourth on the day to take the lead after getting stranded on the wrong side of the course on Thursday.  Taselaar has several teams nipping at his ... ...read more
  • Fun in the Sun? March 7, 2013   Day 1 of Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, presented by EFG Bank, also known as Bacardi Cup (though apparently only the Star Class is legally allowed to call it that, even though everyone else does too — we just don’t get a giant trophy at the end that is taller and heavier than your average 420 sailor) is in the books.  Fun?  Sure — 18 Vipers were racing in warm weather, and the rest of us weren’t.  The weather didn’t cooperate much — great breezes on the way out to the racecourse gave way to a light air start and an even lighter run and beat, at which point the RC shortened course to allow all of the Vipers to drift across the line.  Could have been worse — several other classes that aren’t as strong in light air saw boats suffer ... ...read more
  • Class President Headhunted March 6, 2013 Congratulations are due to our President, Dawn Kozak, who has been offered a career opportunity that she is very excited about. Sadly, the corporation’s gain is our loss, because after a lot of careful thought, Dawn has realized that she cannot balance the role as class association president with her new work responsibilities. She gave the rest of the Executive Committee notice so that they could plan on succession. Here are the changes that are effective as of March 1, 2013:   Dawn Kozak steps down as class president, and Peter Beardsley (New York, NY / Larchmont YC) has been appointed by the Executive Committee as Class President effective from March 1 until the Annual General Meeting on October 8, 2013 at Houston YC. Additionally, two additional Executive Committee members have been appointed; Craig and Deborah Wilusz (Ft. Walton Beach, FL / Ft. Walton ... ...read more
  • Better Know a Viperer: Joan Hall March 4, 2013 If you’re new to the class, you may not realize that there are Viperers in Missouri.  Sailing in the “Show Me State” means you need to be a bit flashy to get the attention of Cardinals fans and others who don’t see much water, which is where Joan Hall comes in.  Joan was a Viper pioneer, owner of one of the first Rondar-built Vipers, and perhaps the second female Viper owner in class history several years ago.  Her bright orange Viper named “Tangerine” turns heads on Lake Carlyle in Southern Illinois and on the front page of viper640.org, where it was featured in the photo slideshow for years.  If you see this Viper veteran on the water as part of the Great Lakes circuit this summer, you should do your homework, and Better Know Viperer, Professor Joan Hall… Name: Joan Hall Location: ... ...read more
  • Running Away with the Circus February 26, 2013 Mark Griffiths began importing the Viper 640 to the east coast of Australia last September. Recently Mark and his crew completed their first two regattas in their Viper, “Circus School”: The Geelong Race Week and last weekend, the State titles in New South Wales. They were racing against some of the country’s hottest sportsboats using the Sportsboat Measuring System (SMS) Marks first regatta, in January, was Geelong Race Week. 16 boats of 11 different designs competed. (Thompson 7’s, 8s, Shaw 650’s, Bethwaite 79er, Sports 8, magic 25, Elliots, etc) Mark finished a creditable 4th place and finished with four 1st placings in the 8 race series. Understandably, in their first regatta in a Viper, some inconsistent results and an OCS proved costly. Last weekend Mark competed in the NSW State Titles. 17 boats of 13 diferent designs competed in the event. A strong weather system moved over the coast on the weekend ... ...read more
  • Looking For Bids to Host the 2015 and 2016 North Americans February 20, 2013 Do you want your home club to host the Viper North American Championship?  The class is seeking expressions of interest for the 2015 and 2016 North American Championships by March 15, 2013.  To throw your hat in the ring, please send an email to the Class President (prez@viper640.org).  Recent and future NA venues include: 2008: Marblehead 2009: Stamford & Indian Harbor YCs (Western Connecticut) 2010: Miami 2011: Sarnia YC, Ontario 2012: Eastern YC, Marblehead 2013: Houston YC (Oct. 9-12, 2013) 2014: Alamitos Bay YC, Long Beach, CA (Sept. 2-7, 2014) Expressions of interest should comport with the class’s guidelines for sanctioned regattas, and can include information about the following: Proposed dates for the championship Sailing conditions at the venue during the proposed dates Approximate number of Vipers at the venue and within a 5-hour drive from the venue Name of likely event chairman for the regatta Brief discussion of whether you have discussed ... ...read more
  • SoCal Kicks Off 2013 Season at SCYA Midwinters February 19, 2013 I trekked out to Long Beach for the second straight year for SCYA Midwinters.  Does two years make a habit?  Maybe, and as SCYA Midwinters shows, not all habits are bad.  The forecast was “terrible”, so naturally that meant Santa Ana winds in the morning caused brief Race Committee panic, and a nervous Timbo wondering whether there’d be any sailing at all.  I thought Southern California people were supposed to be relaxed?  The seabreeze filled, though “only” to 10-12 knots in the afternoon.  The sea lions were angry and the winds were shifty, and the temperature was “too warm” in the mid 70s.  Did that stop anyone from serving hot chili after racing?  No. Did we “only” manage four races?  Yes.  #CaliforniaSailingProblems. The SCYA Midwinters is a funny event — despite the reputation of Southern California as a year-round sailing destination, ... ...read more
  • Better Know a Viperer: Tim Carter February 4, 2013 Can you tell that Viper season is nearly upon us?  Hopefully the flurry of activity in the class forums and on the front page of the website in the past week has given some hint.  The season always starts first in Arizona and Southern California, and you can’t talk about Viper sailing in those places without mentioning Class Treasurer Tony Chapman and Technical Committee member Tim Carter – both have been major influences on the west coast Viper scene, and Timbo’s efforts as a Viper sparkplug has resulted in a big surge in Viper activity in SoCal, along with his home club of Alamitos Bay YC in Long Beach, CA hosting the 2014 Viper North American Championship.  To learn more about the man they call “Timbo,” step inside the latest edition of Better Know a Viperer…  (above photo copyright Dennis ... ...read more
  • Windy City Vipering! February 1, 2013 The Great Lakes Viper fleet is growing — we know the “Great Lakes” is an obscenely large geographic region with sizable travel distances, but it’s also home to some of the best sailing venues in North America: Kingston, Detroit, Sarnia, and now, Chicago.  Two Vipers entered The Windy City this winter: the legendary Viper 55 moved from North Carolina to Chicago Corinthian YC, to be driven by the enthusiastic Nick Kofski, and brand new Viper 194 was acquired by former Goose Island Beer Co. chief operating officer Tony Bowker — we love all of our Viperers, but when they have excellent beverage connections, it’s possible we love some very slightly more than others.  Needless to say we are really thrilled to have both of these guys in the class (especially Tony and Goose Island). In an effort to grow the fledgling ... ...read more
  • Happy Birthday, Arizona (Yacht Club) February 1, 2013 The Arizona Yacht Club Birthday Regatta held January 18 – 20 saw 10 Vipers on the line with more than half of the boats from out of state.  The road warrior award clearly went to Rafe Beswick, who towed his boat more than 1500 miles from Olympia, Washington to get away from the gloomy weather of the northwest and enjoy the sunny and clear Arizona weather. Each day there was good breeze in the morning from the north, which would settle down as the day progressed.   An early start of 9am on Sunday saw the best races on the final day, with the wind in the high teens for the initial races. Dr. Jimbo Sears started of the 2013 West Coast Circuit in the same manner he finished in 2012, holding a lead throughout the weekend.  Brad Milligan with his regular crew ... ...read more
  • 2013 Class Membership January 11, 2013 Happy New Year to Viper 640 sailors everywhere!  With the turn of the calendar comes the time to join or renew class association membership for 2013.  If you missed the blast e-mail from the class earlier this week, here’s why you should be a part of the class association… We all share the fun and excitement of sailing the Viper 640. If you already have renewed your 2013 Viper Class Membership, thank you!  As an existing owner or sailor, we hope you join the Viper Class Association.  As a new owner, we would like to introduce you to the Viper Class Association and hope you join. The role of the Class Association is to help all Viper owners get the best from their boats and enjoy the “Viper Experience” both on and off the water. In particular this means that we: Facilitate communication among ... ...read more
  • Better Know a Viperer: Lee Shuckerow December 24, 2012 With the holidays here, we decided to bring back the Better Know a Viperer series as a present to everyone in the class and to give folks something to read if they’re tired of watching Christmas specials and college football bowl games.  The only natural choice to break this spell was Viper 640 supercrew Lee Shuckerow.  While a co-owner of Jackpot, Lee is most often found in the front of the boat, where he has crossed the finish-line ahead of teammates Brad Boston and Eric Vigrass in each of their three Viper North American championship titles.  To find out what makes Jackpot tick and to address rumors that Lee doesn’t know what the tiller looks like, we sat down with Shuck over a pitcher of Labatt’s… Name: Lee Shuckerow Location: Detroit, Michigan Viper currently (or past) owned: Jackpot, Sail number #119.  We have ... ...read more
  • Turkey Day Tuning Clinic (and regatta results) November 28, 2012 Alamitos Bay Yacht Club is host to one of the largest annual small boat regattas on the West Coast, the annual Turkey Day Regatta.   I remember doing this regatta as a youth in Lasers in freezing cold weather in 30kts of breeze and knew the conditions would dictate the event.  Local Viper rep Tim Carter has been asking for a clinic for sometime and Turkey Day seemed like the perfect time to get something going.  It has been a fun and successful year racing the Viper for myself and it was now time to give something back to the fleet. Phillip Toth, who recently started working at the Ullman Newport Loft, and I set forth a plan to host a Turkey Day Tune Up on the Friday leading up to the regatta.  I focused on tuning and technique and Phil brought ... ...read more