Latest US News


  • It’s a Knock Out! KO sailing becomes a Viper nest July 8, 2011 After months a quiet negotiations, and supportive conversations with Viper sailors in CT and TX, Mark McNamara sent an email to Viper sparkplugs late last night.   “The Cat is out of the bag. All official. My Viper and I are now residents of Houston Texas! The Family will follow later this year. I just could not pass up this awesome opportunity to implement my model into KO and grow it. Thank you to all the Viper fleet for the kind words and support.  I can’t miss a chance to thank the Viper people of Houston, like Pat Gibson, who have been so supportive of this venture. I am really jazzed about the whole thing. My Viper is sitting in the Lot at KO. Its really bugging me. After all the work with the transaction, I need to get out sailing. Great Breeze here! Be ... ...read more
  • Missing Texan Viper Sailor July 7, 2011 Lost Viper Sailor Alert   If you are new to the Texas Viper fleet (post MGRW) then you may not know Dr. Drake Borer. But, you will soon.  Mr. Borer owns “Sea Monkey” out of Austin, Texas and after Mardi Gras in March, has had to spend time studying for his boards in lieu of sailing.  After that there’s been conflict after conflict but he’s itching to get back and Drake, we miss ya!   See you at the OD Regatta in September! ...read more
  • Ahhhhhhh Marblehead! July 3, 2011 I was back racing at Marblehead yesterday. It has been close to 12 months since I have raced with the local fleet. I can only describe it as delicious.   The first gun was at 12.00. Despite four classes on the line, the RC banged off four races for the Vipers. 1 mile windward/leeward twice around and back to the dock by 4.30 pm. The great thing about Marblehead is that you leave the harbor, turn right, past Marblehead Rock and you are immediately in open ocean. The race course is right on the doorstep.     The breeze was from East South East 8-10 , gradually building to 10 -12 and higher puffs. Long gentle swells coming from the south. Hint to visitors:- Don’t make the mistake that I made on the first two races and over anticipate the sea breeze. It was hot and ... ...read more
  • 2011 Long Beach Race Week June 28, 2011 The 2011 Long Beach Race Week was the perfect venue to kick off our EFG Pan American Pacific West Coast Championship. We had 15 Vipers on the line and some really great competition. We had several new boats, all sporting different colors from mint, yellow and purple. I don’t know what it is about the Viper fleet or drinking, but when I mix the two, my inner Texan comes out… strong. You can ask anyone and they would say the line of the weekend was “that ain’t right!” Well there were some things that ain’t right about that weekend (too many speed bumps, etc), but our sailing was not one of them! Friday was a light air day, which made it key to catch all the shifts. We had poor starts and were over early in the second one, but managed ... ...read more
  • Freemantle vs Marblehead: You choose! June 20, 2011 And this just in. Last weekend Leighton posted a video of Viper racing in Marblehead. This weekend we find a video from the other side of the globe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=One62AYUaYE ...read more
  • Pro with a GoPro Goes Vipering June 12, 2011 Pro photographer Leighton O’Connor came out for his first ride on a Viper. Of course, he brought his GoPro, and shot this: Cloudy, rainy, only 10-14 knots, only 6 boats and he came up with that! I’m going to try to drag him to a bigger regatta with some breeze and see what he can do when Vipers are really at their best! Read more for some video tips… #1 tip for aspiring GoPro shooters- Edit down ruthlessly! #2 tip- chest strap > fixed mount, Keeps the camera handy and allows for shooting other boats. #3 tip- edit down some more! ...read more
  • TADAAAAAAA Check These Out ! June 9, 2011 BIG Thanks to EFG for their Support of the Viper Class. They have made all sorts of things possible. Thanks to Tim Carter (Southern California Rep) and Justin Scott for designing and building these wonderful perpetual trophies! You KNOW you want to be the first name on this perpetual…you have ZERO chance if you don’t show. Come race with us the Weekend of June 24-26 ...read more
  • Thumbs Up! May 30, 2011 Picture of the weekend comes from Ken Kashing after day one of the Memorial Day Regatta at ABYC. Yes……you read that right. Top speed of 23.2 knots and sustained average of over 15 knots. Yee Haw! ...read more
  • Viper Sail Registration. Need everyone’s help on this one… May 24, 2011 A little background:  One of the attractive features of the Viper Class to many folks, especially in the recent economic turmoil, is our “one set of sails per year” class rule.  This concept has been with us since the restart of the Class and was updated early this year via a Class vote that closed some loopholes and added provisions for registering or “buttoning” sails.  Registration makes compliance easy for all of us to implement and monitor going forward.   Yeah, it can seem restrictive and even damn un-American to be limited to only one set of sails a year if you come from an open class and are used to buying lots of sails.  On the other hand (and seriously) our sail acquisition rule really levels the playing field and allows us all to know we face the same decisions managing ... ...read more
  • You Can Viper Here May 14, 2011 Vipah in Boothbay HabahI drove 3 hours this morning to meet Bob Bowditch, who purchased new Viper # 136 after one demo sail in Marblehead last August.  Bob resides in Brookline, MA and summers in picturesque Boothbay Harbor, Maine. The purpose of my trip was to help Bob rig his new boat and take her for it’s maiden voyage. Well, we pulled up to the town ramp, amidst thick trees and a private residence hidden in the woods. Within 5 minutes of arriving to rig the mast, out of the woods, almost from the height of the treetops, we both hear a voice…” Hey is that a Viper?”  we both are shocked.  Boothbay is more known for very traditional yachts and sailing sloops, nothing as modern as the Viper.  So down from the stair steps comes Jeff, whose voice we heard.  Immediately he is signed up to do ... ...read more
  • What actually is a Viper 640? We’ve begun to find out. May 8, 2011 So we’ve all been sailing around in this great boat that Brian Bennett designed. But as it turns out, there are no drawings or data files that define exactly what a Viper 640 is. We all know that the racing is very close out of the water, but the only detailed information we have on the boat is what you see on your trailer. At this stage in the development of the Class, the Exec Committee has decided to do something about this for a few basic reasons: First, as an owner-driven class we need to be able to communicate with the current or future builder just what this boat is and how it is made. We want to ensure that construction is consistent in order to continue our close racing out on the water. Second, is essentially to have a backup copy. Say Paul Young sold Rondar and ... ...read more
  • Viper Class Association and Settlement with Brian Bennett April 6, 2011 On April 4th, the Viper 640 Class Association and Brian Bennett mutually agreed not to pursue a settlement agreement, now or in the future. Brian has stated that he will support the class and its members and that he wishes the Class Association the very best. The Viper Class Association wishes Brian all the best with the VX One Design. This ends a long process which has consumed many hundreds of hours of volunteer time and it is the best resolution for both sides.     The brief background to this is as follows:   Brian Bennett was the original designer and builder of the Viper beginning in 1996 and his company went bankrupt in 1999. The original Viper Class Association raised funds to purchase the tooling from the bankruptcy receiver and recommence production in the US. However the molds were sold through an intermediary to Race One in ... ...read more
  • 2011 San Diego Noods April 1, 2011 2011 San Diego Noods Funny you ask… So there we were….(as one of my crew likes to put it..) #143 Sinnerman was splashed after a short week and delivery from San Francisco to San Diego. Drew Harper had made sure the boat and I were ready to go. With only a week to prep for NOOD in San Diego we had our work cut out for us. I had been thinking of this moment for over six months.  Rondar was amazing at keeping me up to date on the delivery but it could never come soon enough.  I was a week out and had to figure out the boat. I had my new set of Quantum’s and was ready to go. Day one…Decent breeze and the flat water of Coronado Bay.  A great combination. We made our splash in the fleet but had better downwind than upwind ... ...read more
  • Southern Cal MidWinters March 8, 2011 Southern Cal MidWintersTeam Viral got in late about 9:30 after a wet exit from Los Angeles. When we got to Mission Bay YC, it was dark except for distinct noises coming from the bar was making noise and we were not shocked to find the bar full of Snake bit types. We had superstar Al hook us up a few, and then when he finally kicked us out we moved the party to the Catalina 30 we had secured for the weekend. After everybody squeezed in, there were more lies to be told and we successfully destroyed our 1st bottle of Mount Gay. All along there was 30 kt breeze rocking the boat and intermittent rain showers.   Saturday greeted us with broken clouds, small cells, and generally 5-7kt breeze. After we all got launched we sailed out the channel to the outside course, ... ...read more