Latest US News


  • Ghost Panda Wins 2016 Viper 640 Atlantic Coast Championship at Charleston Race Week April 19, 2016 Team Ghost Panda, with Peter Beardsley, his wife Rachel, Jay Rhame, and his fiancée Rachel Daugherty, handily won the 2016 Viper 640 Atlantic Coast Championship. The Championship was sailed as part of the Sperry Charleston Race Week from April 15-17. This is the first Atlantic Coast Championship win for the crew, which sails regularly out of the Larchmont (NY) Yacht Club. Ghost Panda posted a dominating scoreline, with all firsts and seconds through the first two days. Keeping the Panda crew on its toes was Zeke Horowitz, also from Larchmont Yacht Club and the College of Charleston Yacht Club with Brendan Healy, Katie Gluskin, and Seppie McAdams as crew. Horowitz’s four bullets kept him in the hunt, but a couple of deeper results meant that Ghost Panda only needed to finish within four points of Horowitz in Race 9 on Sunday ... ...read more
  • DUSTIN JOHNSON, KENT MORROW, AND TREVOR DiMARCO WIN TULIP REGATTA April 12, 2016 PNW Tulip Regatta April 2-3, 2016 The Northwest Viper Fleet converged on Anacortes, Washington for the Tulip Regatta, a contest far more spirited than the name implies. In addition to fervent competition between Vipers, Saturday’s racing saw a battle between a prevailing southeasterly breeze and a punchy thermal from the west. Sunday saw sunny skies and morning zephyrs from all around the compass eventually submit to a relatively stable northeasterly. Above average race management allowed the Vipers to duke out seven hard fought races in winds that ranged from four to fifteen knots. Race one began with a battle for the pin end, with Rafe Beswick’s Dragonfly nailing the start while Timeline crossed the rest of the fleet on port tack. Oscillations favored those who could hit the shifts and rapidly generate speed out of the tacks. It took several well-timed facials from ... ...read more
  • ALEX STEELE WINS 2015 HELLY HANSEN SAN DIEGO NOOD REGATTA April 12, 2016 2016 San Diego NOODs Written by Tim Carter and Steve Bloemeke March 18-20, 2016 Tim:  So, Steve.  We need crew for San Diego NOODs.  Know anyone? Steve:  Yep.  Got the perfect person in mind.  Let me reach out to her husband, Craig Leweck and get her mobile number. They live down there and it will be great if she can make it. And so it went. Lisa Leweck, who Steve has known since, well, many decades having grown up racing in the infamous Southern California Naples Sabot fleet (which has spawn numerous Olympic and World Class Sailors since the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s). Craig and Lisa have won Snipe Nationals and have dominated in every class they have set their minds to; however, Lisa has been on a 4-year sabbatical from sailing and, while she wanted to sail with us, she was concerned she would ... ...read more
  • LAWRENCE CRISPIN SWEEPS MIAMI VIPER REGATTAS March 14, 2016 March 14, 2016 Congratulations to Lawrence Crispin, Hector Cisnaros, and Luka Crispin for turning in a stunning sailing performance this past week in Miami. After convincingly winning the EFG Winter Cup (March 6-7), this trio from the UK’s Stone Sailing Club carried their momentum into Bacardi Miami Sailing Week. They dominated the 28-boat fleet with an impressive score line of 1-8-1-3-2-2-3-5 over the eight races sailed for a final score of 17 points. This put Crispin seven points ahead of Tyler Moore sailing with his wife Jane and Tim and Karen Fallon who won four races—including the last three—and finished in second. Third whet to another UK sailor, Ian Nicholson, who had fellow Brit David Hitchcock sailing with him and Australian David Chapman at the helm. Nicholson’s crew didn’t win any races but had a consistently strong string of finishes allowing them ... ...read more
  • Lawrence Crispin Wins 2016 EFG Winter Cup Regatta March 8, 2016 So I’m sitting with my crew mates having just finished the EFG Winter Cup regatta and asked, “What should I write?” Simple, Peter replied, just say “It was windy!” High teens into low twenties and the Viper 640 fleet sailed six races over two days in Biscayne Bay. The fleet sailed out of the US Sailing Center Miami but the race committee, headed by PRO Scot Giering, brought an excellent team from Biscayne Bay Yacht Club. The EFG Winter Cup is the final qualifying regatta for the EFG Viper Pan-American Championship. This year’s EFG Pan-Am qualifiers were sailed in key areas of the US as well as Lake Garda, Italy, and both the east and west coasts of Australia. With qualifier points carrying over to the Pan-Am Champs (to be sailed this coming Thursday – Saturday as part of Bacardi Miami ... ...read more
  • VIPER 640 CLASS ANNOUNCES ITS INAUGURAL INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP REGATTA February 23, 2016 February 24, 2016 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the design of the Viper 640 and the 10th anniversary of the relaunch of the Class Association. The Class is now a truly international class with Viper 640 fleets active in seven nations across three continents. The Class Association is celebrating these milestones by hosting the first Viper 640 International Championship, with sailors competing for a prestigious new trophy open to Viper teams from around the world. The International Championship will be hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club on Bermuda’s Great Sound November 16-19, 2016, preceded by a warm-up regatta November 13-14. There are over 50 Viper 640s already registered for the International Championship, with representative teams coming from North America, Europe and Australia, and it is anticipated this number will grow in the ... ...read more
  • Horowitz, Coleman, and Healy Win Sarasota Sailing Squadron’s Viper 640 Winter Circuit February 7, 2016 Sarasota, FL February 7, 2016 Sailing weekends in December, January, and February, the Sarasota (FL) Sailing Squadron’s Winter Circuit has become a mainstay for east coast Viper sailors…and some from the west coast and Canada. Not only are there three weekends of racing, but this series gets everyone’s boats to Florida where they will stay for the two Viper regattas in March: the EFG Winter Cup (March 6-7) and the EFG Viper Pan-American Championship sailed during Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (March 10-12). This series is scored in two ways: individual weekend winners and series champions. Key to participation is that over the three weekends, each competitor may drop 30% of their scores so if they couldn’t compete one weekend they aren’t necessarily out of the running. Skipper Zeke Horowitz (SSS, Larchmont Yacht Club, and CofC), sailing with long-time crew Brendan Healy and Ian Coleman, ... ...read more
  • Eddy Parker Awarded the US Sailing Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal February 1, 2016 HUGE congratulations to Viper 640 sailor Eddy Parker for having been awarded the US Sailing Hanson Medal for rescue at sea. As you can read below, Eddy was one of a host of NC sailors who jumped to action when a micro burst wreaked havoc on the 2015 Flying Scot ACCs being sailed in New Bern, NC on September 12.  With numerous boats mast-down, Eddy and 13 others did what had to be done to bring ashore all the sailors…safe and sound. An Editorial Note from your Class Administrator: What Eddy did was courageous in anyone’s book…but that’s what sets apart the sport of sailboat racing. In golf or tennis there is no real apparent risk in playing the sport; however, sailing is a sport of a different color. Every time you cast off there is the chance “something” may happen. Unfortunately, too often ... ...read more
  • Mike Hester Wins Arizona Yacht Club Birthday Regatta…but maybe NOT the Party! January 29, 2016 January 15-17, 2016 Lake Pleasant, AZ By Thursday afternoon, the RV was set up awaiting the arrival of Team Cobra from SoCal (Tim Carter, Steve Bloemeke and Patricia) to join with Team Nectar Sled (Mike Hester, Sarah Hester and Scott Hoffman). With a few nectars under my belt, Team Cobra arrived and the party started. The Birthday Regatta has a bit of a reputation, and it isn’t usually the predictable breeze; but rather the predictable parties and unusual events. This year was no exception. As there is no lodging on site, many of the teams rent RVs for the event as there are services that will drop off and pick up for a pretty reasonable fee. These RVs are the center of the pre and post-race gatherings. Libations were flowing as many of the other teams arrived from their distant locations. Luckily ... ...read more
  • Jay Rhame, Peter and Rachel Beardsley win Sarasota Viper Winter Series #2 January 27, 2016 Round Two of the Sarasota Viper Winter Series was sailed January 9-10 in very fun conditions with a great group of 21 crews. Saturday morning dawned with a touch of fog that burned off and gave way to steady 8-12 kts by the time the first race got under way. Justin Scott, sailing his new boat #237, drew first blood and had a good day to finish up leading after day one; the fleet was very close in each of the four races sailed. As a sure sign of how tight it was, every team in the top ten had a double-digit finish during the day. Jay Rhame with Peter and Rachel Beardsley – Winners of Sarasota #2 PRO Ron Pletsch and the crack RC team got things underway promptly Sunday morning with  the eager fleet pushing the line for multiple general recalls. With the “I” ... ...read more
  • Gulf Yachting Association Board Confirms Viper 640 Selection January 12, 2016 Sunday, January 10, 2016   At its annual meeting of member club commodores, held at the Fairhope Yacht Club, the GYA Board of Directors voted to approve the association’s rules and regulations whereby the Viper 640 will replace the Flying Scot as the GYA’s Capdevielle boat starting in 2018. This is great news for the Viper Class and it is the culmination of a five-year process started by the GYA’s Capdevielle New Boat Selection Committee headed by Southern Yacht Club’s Corky Potts. Corky and crew reviewed a score of different boats and by the January 2015 Annual Meeting had whittled down the list to two boats: the Viper 640 and the VX One. At that meeting, a team of Viper and Rondar Raceboats representatives made a comprehensive presentation to the Board about the boat, the Class Association, and, most importantly, the people who ... ...read more
  • Zeke Horowitz, Danny Pletsch, and Peter Beardsley on the Podium for the Sarasota Viper Winter Series #1 December 14, 2015 Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Sarasota, FL The 2015-16 Sarasota Viper Winter Series kicked off on Friday December 11 with 15 of the 24 registered teams attending a full day clinic, hosted by North Sail’s Zeke Horowitz. Zeke took the teams through all aspects of rigging, tuning and tweaking the setup on a Viper. After a group lunch, the teams took to the water for some drills and practice races with Zeke coaching and filming from a RIB. The wind was sub ten knots, so the teams worked on light wind speed and crew work. Once back ashore, Zeke had a sit down video debrief and Q&A session using footage from on the water to help solidify the core concepts of trim and boat handling. Day one of the Winter Series started with sunny skies, 80-degree weather and 8-10 knots of breeze from the ... ...read more
  • Vipers Ready to Return to Sarasota December 11, 2015 The Viper 640 fleet returns to Florida for the third annual Winter Series.  Each year turnout in Sarasota has increased, and 2015-16 is no exception, with 28 teams already registered for the series, with more expected.  The first circuit event December 12-13 is expected to have 24 teams on the starting line, including the first club team from the Gulf Yachting Association (GYA) from St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club in Panama City, Florida.  To help get newcomers up to speed, North Sails is sponsoring a rigging, tuning and boathandling clinic on Friday, December 11 to get new teams up to speed and veteran teams more refined and dialed in. Leading the charge from North will be one of the weekend regatta favorites, Zeke Horowitz (Greenwich, CT), who has been racing in Sarasota Bay his entire life.  2014-15 winter circuit winners Peter ... ...read more
  • Zeke Horowitz To Conduct Viper Clinic In Sarasota, FL, 12/11 November 24, 2015 Zeke Horowitz from North Sails One-Design will be on hand at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron on December 11 to conduct a “go fast” Viper 640 seminar. Zeke has been sailing Vipers these past few years and has proven very quickly that he understands the boats and how to make them go fast in any condition. Your first step is to register for the Sarasota Winter Circuit HERE and then get yourself to Sarasota a day early to be part of this clinic. Questions, contact Zeke at Zeke.Horowitz@NorthSails.com.   ...read more