Latest US News


  • Sailing Anarchy – ISAF Regatta October 11, 2009 Written by Drew Harper (photos courtesy of Dennis “Da Woody” St. Onge & Chrisann Tortora) It’s once again o-dark-thirty. We always leave the Bay Area with strategic consideration on timing the drive through LA’s labarinth of freeways. We’re headed down through the length of some of the worlds toughest traffic. Strange things are yet to happen. The Viper tows behind the truck like nothing’s there. It’s easy to edge up over 70, all the time keeping a keen eye out for the Highway Patrol. An uneventful morning drive to what we thought was a quick stop for gas. I tossed the keys to ‘M’ (short for Mahalynn) and they apparently fell into a black hole. We all hit the head, got some coffee and met back at the truck. No key. We spent the next hour retracing steps, crawling through places we never ... ...read more
  • 2009 Viper North Americans…my take October 6, 2009 Written by Drew Harper Yup, Upside down yet again (me and Mmmmmmmmm) The Eastern Seaboard is the hotbed of Viper sailing, at least for now. Large fleets are very active all along the coast. It seems there’s a container that flows into that area every couple of months with a whole new load of boats for enthusiastic sailors. You’ve gotta love the old-style East coast Yacht Clubs. They all bear a striking resemblance to the West Coast’s golf clubs. Opulent and expensive. Part of the tradition I suppose.  Indian Harbor Yacht Club and Stamford Yacht Club are no different. Amenities like swimming pools, beach clubs, clay court tennis and full fitness facilities set these clubs apart from the typical yacht club you might see in the west. The second you walk into Indian Harbor YC the smell of aged oak, walnut ... ...read more
  • Southeast Inland Championship October 16th-18th, 2009 September 29, 2009 Written by Gary Umberger The Southeast has been a growing region for the Viper 640 fleet and has scheduled a premier event at Lake Lanier Sailing Club on October 16th-18th, 2009. The lake is beautiful and we should have great breeze this time of the year. I know that everyone may be a little tired from all the travel to the great white north to sail in the NA’s, Larchmont, Marblehead and others but the climate is changing and it is a great opportunity to get your boat down (over/up) to the south for the line up of events in the Southeast. Boats that travel to the SEIC will have permission to store boats at LLSC so they can return for the Lake Norman Regatta in November (I need to be made aware of who would be interested in this). Therefore, a ... ...read more
  • Photos from the 2009 North American Championship September 24, 2009 Photos are now up from the wildly succesful 2009 Viper 640 North American Championship on Long Island Sound.  Many thanks to Stamford Yacht Club for the photo gallery, and to Stamford and Indian Harbor Yacht Clubs for hosting an incredible event. Gallery 2009 North Americans – Gallery courtesy of Stamford Y.C. ...read more
  • Safey Line Installation for pre-Rondar boats August 7, 2009 Written by Paul ZImmerman The Class Rules require that all boats have safety lines installed under the gunwale, and the deadline was May for all boats to comply.  That means you have to get it done before NAs next month!  Here is the description to add safety lines to Pre-Rondar boats.  See attached photos as well For each side: 1.) Starting from the stern, install one pad eye horizontally under the gunwhale. You will need 4 Ronstan RF 499 padeyes with ferrule or equivalent 2.) Mark three more locations measuring from the stern at 48″ intervals. You should end up with the forward mark approx. across from the mast 3.) the middle two padeyes are installed vertically and the forward one is mounted horizontally the same as the aft padeye 4.) use 8-32’s flathead machine screws and lock nuts to secure the padeyes.  Countersink ... ...read more
  • North American Championships – Checklist August 7, 2009 Written by David Guggenheim Viper 640 – 2009 North American Championships – Checklist We are looking forward to seeing you all next month at The Viper NAs. Stamford YC and Indian Harbor YC have laid on a great event for us. Your Class Association wants to make this a fun event for every single competitor. A number of folks have asked us if they could have a simple checklist ahead of the event so that they could check their boats to make sure they are rule compliant before pulling up in Stamford. We are happy to do this. We have tried to keep it short. It’s not meant to be a comprehensive measurement certificate, just a list of some of the more obvious items to check to make sure you are in compliance with the class rules. If you have any ... ...read more
  • Huntington High Sierra Regatta – or – “I can’t wait until …” August 5, 2009 Written by Drew Harper Huntington Lake, one of the most Southern lakes in the Sierra mountain range offers a unique blend of warm air, cold water and fresh breeze that runs down the length of a somewhat narrow lake. Capping out 7,000 feet Huntington certainly has to be one of the best lake sailing venues in the west. This year was no exception. A record number of boats vie for the opportunity to race here. Historically, the US forest service carefully guards the number of sailboats that have access to the lake. This year was no exception. The High Sierra keelboat weekend broke attendance records with over 131 boats on what was supposed to be a 100-boat limit…oops. Fresno Yacht club flawlessly runs this event and has done so since the mid-50. The normal cast of mixed PHRF boats showed along ... ...read more
  • Twenty One Vipers at Marblehead Race Week July 27, 2009 Written by Justin Scott Marblehead Race Week is the “homecoming” regatta of  the Viper circuit. The class association was born in the upstairs bar at Maddys sail loft in Marblehead five years ago and that gathering of the original half dozen early Viper owners has grown into a national class of well over 100 boats. Marblehead Race Week is where we invite local North East Vipers and Vipers from around the country to come back to Marblehead, enjoy a dinner at Maddys on Thursday evening, have some fun sailing for three days off Tinkers Ledge and see where it all started. It is a rendez vous regatta, with the emphasis as much on catching up with friends as it is on the typicaly close and tactical racing. What is not to love about this charming New England Town in July, with its narrow winding streets ... ...read more
  • The Tour hits the mountain stage. July 16, 2009 Written by Justin Scott “The profile of the stage suggested it would suit strong climbers and  cunning, powerful and daring descenders” – Tour De France Progress Report July 11th 2009. We were slumped exhausted in our Viper communal house at Newport after the first day of racing, watching stage 8 of the Tour De France, and the analogy was not lost on us. Five races of 4 legs apiece. A sixth race of 3 legs Each leg of 1.1 mile. A 3 mile ride to and from the race course. You do the maths! In stunning weather of sunshine and breeze of 14 – 18 knots, at the Coastal Living Newport Regatta, the Viper North East circuit had definitely hit the “mountain stage”.   Category one uphill legs and Yeee Haw planes downwind certainly suited the strong climbers and daring descenders. The Barrington YC Race Committee took full ... ...read more
  • “‘Charlie Course’ of Dreams” July 5, 2009 Written by John Riddell, Arizona Fleet “Is this Heaven?”  “No, it’s Iowa.” … a simple, yet memorable exchange of lines in a classic movie about the creation of the ultimate playground to satisfy one’s dreams.  Well, Field of Dreams was created by a Hollywood studio, Long Beach/Alamitos Bay was created by Mother Nature and it is without a doubt the ultimate playground to satisfy any sailor’s dreams, especially if they happen to be racing a Viper 640 on ‘C – Charlie Course’: a consistent western afternoon breeze, building to 12-18 knots every afternoon under clear, sunny SoCal skies and inside the breakwater of Long Beach Harbor.  Heaven…, why not? Long Beach Race Week has come and gone, and this year like last, it provided all in attendance with three of the most perfect days of racing for which any of us could ... ...read more
  • Have you checked out what they are saying about the Viper? June 19, 2009 Written by Justin Scott The list of quotes about the Viper has been growing recently with folks like Scott Nixon, Craig Lewis, and Brad Boston joining the list of fans. Check them out on the bottom of this page :- http://www.viper640.org/the-viper-640    There is even some grudging admiration from a Melges 20 owner and a ringing endorsement from the past president of the Melges 24 class. If you have any quotes that are either amusing or aptly describe why sailors love their Vipes, feel free to send them to us and we will add them to the list. ...read more
  • Leonard Wittman June 18, 2009 Written by Lake Lanier Viper Fleet It is with deepest sorrow that we share the news with fellow Viperers about the untimely death of Leonard Wittman. Len was one of the first movers on Lake Lanier to buy a Viper when, without much ado, he drove up to North Carolina and came back with #42 on his hitch. Len was both a keen sailor and active outdoorsman. He passed away last evening at the end of a bike ride.   He was always full of energy and brought a smile to those he interacted with.  Leonard will be deeply missed by his wife Helen, his son Chris, and his many friends on Lake Lanier.     There will be a celebration of Leonard’s life at a memorial service on Sunday June 21.  The service will start at 2:00pm and will be followed by a reception.             The Carl House            ... ...read more
  • ScuttleButt – Video of The Week June 13, 2009 Written by Scuttlebutt “The 20-foot sportboat niche is hard to pin down. Are they dinghies or keelboats? They have attributes of both, but what they mostly are is an exciting AND growing segment of the sport. To help market this genre, there will be a Chicago Sportboat Demo event this weekend with all the popular choices, and next week’s Chicago NOOD has opened up a sportboat class to insure that everyone can participate regardless of their individual class numbers. This week’s video provides a tease of the Viper 640, which was filmed this winter on the windy and warm waters of Biscayne Bay…….  Thanks to Viperer Harvey Barnes for producing this great video! ...read more
  • Viper Long Island Sound Regatta June 3, 2009 Written by Justin Scott This was lots of fun over the weekend. Great little regatta. Represents everything that owning a Viper stands for. Friendly gathering. Good Racing. Forty bucks. Beer and burgers on the yacht club lawn on Saturday afternoon after racing. Race Committee that fired off four great races on Saturday afternoon and two on Sunday in time to get us in early. Great attitude among the competitors. Tight starts (one well deserved general recall!) .   Indian Harbor YC in Greenwich hosted this low key and fun event. The NOR was posted on our class forum and we recieved a cheerful email from IHYC “We don’t need advance registration, just show up with $40”. The first gun was at 1.00pm on Saturday, which gave plenty of time for us to drive down and rig on the day . On Sunday the ... ...read more