Latest US News


  • Start Your Engines: 2012 Viper NAs Set to Begin September 6, 2012 MARBLEHEAD, Mass. (September 6): After months of planning, over 45 Viper 640s have returned to the class’s unofficial home in Marblehead, Massachusetts to compete in the fleet’s largest North American Championship to date. Teams are signed up from five countries and eleven states and provinces, including two teams from Western Australia who will be chartering boats for the week. Racing begins on Thursday, September 6 and concludes on Sunday, September 9. Thursday’s forecast calls for light air, which may build late in the afternoon.  READ MORE. ...read more
  • Better Know a Viperer: Deborah Wilusz August 23, 2012 Any time your Viper sailing spouse has as his forum profile quote “Don’t Piss Deborah Off……..please”, you know you’ve found a candidate for your next installment of “Better Know a Viperer.”  Deborah Deats-Wilusz has made a strong impression on the class in a short period of time.  She and husband Craig finished a strong 9th at their first Charleston Race Week in 2011, following it up with a fifth at the 2012 Bacardi Cup and four top-three race finishes.  Barring any late summer hurricanes, they’ll be hauling Viper 100 “Ice Melted” from the Florida panhandle to Marblehead in a couple of weeks for the NAs, so we figured it’d be best to talk to her now and get on her good side before the first crossing on the course or the rum tent… Name: Deborah Deats-Wilusz Location: Fort Walton Beach, Florida Viper currently ... ...read more
  • Better Know a Viperer: Kay VanValkenburgh August 17, 2012 Next up in our series is Viper veteran Kay VanValkenburgh, better known to some folks in the class as “the really tall guy with the blonde ponytail.”  And while that is accurate, you may also soon know him as “Viper Class Governor,” since Kay has been nominated by the class’s Executive Committee and existing Governor to serve in that capacity.  In advance of the Annual General Meeting September 8, 2012 in Marblehead at the NAs, we wanted to catch up with Kay to find out what makes him tick and whether he has a new Viper world order planned… Name: Kay VanValkenburgh Location: Boston, MA Vipers currently (and previously) owned: 28 Qirq (first), 74 Qirqii (briefly), 98 Lo.qi (current) Tell us a bit more about the origin of the name of your Viper: the Viper is my first boat – I attributed my early ... ...read more
  • Double Damned If You Do… August 14, 2012 The Double Damned Race is a rite of passage for sporty sailors in the Pacific Northwest — 42 miles, point-to-point, usually downwind, on the scenic Columbia River from Cascade Locks to the dam at The Dalles.  It’s The Oregon Trail, and while you shouldn’t get dysentery, the windy run may give you the runs as you try to keep your $hit together with boats wiping out around you as puffs funnel through the infamous Columbia River Gorge.  Anacortes, Washington Viperer Steve Orsini kidnapped Kaa (Viper 129) to brave one of the west coast’s wildest races.  Unfortunately, the 2012 race disappointed with a light air edition, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t stories to tell… We arrived at Cascade Locks at 4:00 pm on Friday, August 10.   It was howling at 30 knots with gusts to 40.   We set up the rig, ... ...read more
  • Better Know a Viperer: Harvey Barnes August 13, 2012 Editor’s Note: We’re starting a new feature on viper640.org where every few days, we hope to profile a different Viper sailor so that everyone can get to know that person a bit better.  Skippers, crews, young and old are welcome. Harvey Barnes is between Vipers, but he’s still in the game.  Many of you have sailed against our friend from north of the border (or as Canadians call it, “home”), but even more of you have seen his slickly edited videos promoting the boat and the class.  Harv came down to Charleston Race Week in 2012 without a boat to make his latest series of videos (linked below), so we decided it was time to learn a little more about the man behind the camera… Name: Harvey Barnes Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Viper currently (or past) owned — name(s) and sail number(s): Past ... ...read more
  • A Silver Lining (or, how I learned to stop staring at the hole in my boat and love the Viper fleet) August 10, 2012 Editor’s Note: Brian Barmmer is the owner of Viper 92 “Adrenaline” out of Marblehead, Mass. I am relatively new to sailboat racing. My first race was less than 5 years ago. Last year I purchased the first boat of any type I have ever owned…..a Viper . Everyone who participates in close quarter racing in sailboats harbors at the back of their mind the fear that one day that close crossing will be a bit closer and their pride and joy will take a hit.  At the Viper New England Championship this year in Newport, my worst fears were realized but I learnt something about the Viper fleet and my fellow owners that you just cannot buy in a brochure. “Starboard!!!!!!” “Starboard!!!!!!” *BAM! This was a full on high speed collision. In any other class I think both boats would be struggling ... ...read more
  • WHAT HAPPENS ON WHIDBEY, STAYS ON WHIDBEY July 31, 2012 Editor’s Note: Whidbey Island Race Week, held July 16-20 in the lovely Pacific Northwest, was home to the Viper class’s Pacific Coast Championship in 2012. The sailors who attend this event are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: those who enjoy the rain and decide to live in Seattle, and those who enjoy driving from California and are cold and confused. These are their stories. Whidbey Island Race Week, day five. Tensions are high. The west coast Viper fleet is being towed out to the course for one final race. It’s cold and there’s a misty, light rain falling. There’s little to no wind. It doesn’t look good, but we NEED one more race! Team F.N.G. and Team LocoMotion are tied for second, both one point behind the local boat KAA. Despite an early lead in the regatta, ... ...read more
  • Doctor in the House – Par Deux June 28, 2012 Ever since a broken spinnaker halyard robbed us of a win at Mardi Gras Race Week, Team FNG was still looking for its first major regatta victory.  We’ve been sailing consistently enough to finish 2nd at several regattas, but were hoping for better this weekend! Team FNG video Long Beach Race Week Long Beach served up perfect Viper weather for the 15 teams that showed up from San Francisco, Arizona, Texas, San Diego, and the local ABYC fleet.  Sunny skies and strong breeze everyday lend many of my eastern friends that sail here to call it “Groundhog Day Weather”… every day – the same!  First start at noon is usually in the 10-12kt range, but then builds as the seabreeze kicks in, reaching 20-25 throughout the afternoon.  I think Long Beach was extra good this weekend as it was trying to give ... ...read more
  • Larchmont Memorial Day, Year 2 May 29, 2012 May 26-27, 2012 Larchmont, NY In 2011, Larchmont Yacht Club started its Viper fleet, and the northeast Viper contingent brought 16 boats down for its inaugural regatta.  In 2012, the Larchmont Viper fleet doubled in size, and once again hosted its annual Memorial Day Regatta for the Viper class.  The regatta counts not just toward the northeast Viper circuit (regatta # 2 of 6), but in 2012, is the first regatta in the Western Long Island Sound Viper circuit.  WLIS now has nearly 30 Vipers within a 20-mile radius, and created an informal three-regatta circuit among LYC Memorial Day, Indian Harbor YC’s YRALIS Champs, and Stamford YC’s One Design Invitational.  Larchmont Memorial Day is a unique event on the Viper circuit, with no entry fee, a late start time both days to allow for significant morning tuning and rigging conversations, and a ... ...read more
  • Just Undiscovered May 20, 2012 I was in two minds about writing about the Wickford Regatta. Part of me wants to share this hidden gem of a regatta, and part of me wants it to remain undiscovered. This regatta didn’t decide any champions and it won’t make the headlines in the sailing press, but the former coach of the US Olympic team hosts this little regatta in his beautiful home town that reminds us what the sport is all about. We have just rolled up the drive and put our boat away. I have that tired glow after two days on the water, hanging out with good friends, and some darn good sailboat racing thrown in for good measure. Its hard to pin down exactly what makes such a great weekend, but here goes: First: Wickford is a really neat place to spend a weekend.  Wickford is a beautiful quiet Rhode Island harbor town ... ...read more
  • Level Playing Field May 2, 2012 How tough was the Peloton at Charleston Race Week ? Consider this. There were 40 Vipers on the start line competing for our Atlantic Coast Championships and round 3 of the EFG Pan American Championships.   EVERY boat had at least two double digit finishes. Except for one boat, every boat had a finish worse than 20th, ie, more than half way down the fleet. The one exception? Finished 19th after being eaten alive by the Peloton after a slightly slow gybe downwind. ...read more
  • Road to Marblehead May 2, 2012 Road to Marblehead July 2012   It was only a matter of time….. It had to come up… Just add…….. beers… “Who wants to do one of the regattas in the states?” someone asked. If a plane was handy, 12 West Australian Viper sailors would have been on it. After the alcohol effect receded, six of us remained committed and two Australian crews are on the road to Marblehead, Massachusetts for the 2012 North Americans. Boats to charter, airfares, accommodation, – there was much to organise – but more importantly – we needed beer money. Another great idea surfaced – lets do the Rottnest Island Festival of Sail. There was a first prize of $2000 for the Around Rottnest Island race on IRC. Viper owners, Grahme and Heather Monkhouse had just purchased a beautiful J 122, Lithium, and if we could put together a Viper crew we might give it a crack.   Some ... ...read more
  • Viper NAs registration now open April 16, 2012 In just two weeks, 37 Vipers from 5 countries and 9 states have registered for the 2012 Viper North American Championship, to be held at Eastern YC Sept. 6-9.  There’s an event website and online registration.  This is guaranteed to be the largest Viper North American Championship yet.  Come join the fun. ...read more
  • Announcing the 2012 EFG Bank Viper Pan American Championship March 29, 2012 The Viper 640 Class Association and the Viper 640 Pan American Championship Committee is proud to publish online the format for the 2012 EFG Bank Viper Pan American Championship.  In 2010, the Viper Class and EFG Bank, launched a regatta circuit comprising three premiere regattas in the Americas open to competitors around the world.  For 2012, competitors may include a regional qualifying championship event as one of the three regattas. Each boat scores two of their best three scores from the following three events: 1. Viper Midwinter Championship at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG International. 2. One of the Viper regional championships (Gulf Coast Championship, Atlantic Coast Championship, Pacific Coast Championship, New England Championship, with the chance of a Canadian championship being added for 2012) 3. Viper North American Championship at Eastern Yacht Club presented by EFG International. The scoring methodology has been ... ...read more