Latest US News


  • Early Start for Viper 640 – 2015 Season February 25, 2015 Viper 640The Viper season kicks off in March with the EFG Barcardi Regatta, whilst UK sailors are still in the midst of cold weather. Miami offers warm sunshine and perfect sailing conditions for the 34 boats that have already entered! The four day International Regatta is preceded by three days of pure Viper racing. This year four sponsored UK teams are participating in Miami with boats supplied via the EFG driven sponsorship programme. In Europe, Viper sailors are all signing up for the first International Regatta,  to be held on Lake Garda in June. Already the Class has entries from Australia, USA, Canada and of course the UK. Other European entries have also expressed interest in racing at this great venue. Plans are also advanced for a UK National Championship to be held in conjunction with the K6 Class in September. ...read more
  • Beardsley and Pletsch Win Sarasota Winter Circuit Title February 9, 2015 Amidst snowstorms and freezing rain in the northeast U.S., 15 Viper teams made the trip south to sail in sunny conditions with green water all weekend. The Race Committee at Sarasota Sailing Squadron squeezed in 9 races in conditions that never reached more than 10 knots, with large shifts, managing the seemingly impossible as fleets at other one design regattas in Tampa and St. Petersburg a few miles north struggled to get in 3 races in similar conditions. The hybrid Blackout Panda team of Peter Beardsley, Rachel Beardsley, and Danny Pletsch improved on their January performance, winning 6 races and scoring no worse than a second to win the event by 15 points over the Amthor-Eberwine team from Hampton YC. Blackout Panda stablemates Dragon Fire finished strong with a 3-3 to leapfrog Peter Denton’s Newport team by a point for third ... ...read more
  • Viper 640 Stands Out At Gulf Yachting Association’s Annual Meeting January 27, 2015 As reported in the recent Snake Bytes, a contingent representing the Viper 640 Class Association and Rondar Raceboats traveled to Biloxi, MS, the weekend of January 9-11 to present the Viper to the Gulf Yachting Association (GYA). The GYA is looking to replace their Association-sanctioned one-design, the Flying Scot, with a sport boat. Each GYA club is required to own at least one of the Association boats so they can compete in the GYA’s major Capdevielle regatta series. What happens is that the clubs end-up purchasing multiple boats (some as many as six or eight) which would be a boost of 50 – 100 boats for whichever class is selected as the new boat. After a lengthy review, the GYA has limited consideration to the Viper and the VX One. Included in the weekend’s Viper team were owners Craig and Deb ... ...read more
  • Team Locomotion Wins Arizona YC Birthday Regatta January 26, 2015 The 55th Arizona YC Birthday Regatta and Leukemia Cup was the first event of the Viper 640 West Coast Winter Circuit, held during Martin Luther King Day Jr. weekend at Lake Pleasant, 40 miles north of Phoenix.  The event is known for its beautiful desert scenery and its usual “festival” vibe, including the annual “mini-bar” hosted after the racing on Friday by Kelly and Billie Beaver who poured enough rum drinks to make sure everyone was relaxed and happy. The event saw 13 teams, with an even mix of local and out-of-state boats in attendance.  Over the three days of racing, the winds for the start of the first race were good, but quickly lightened to provide challenging conditions for everyone involved.  In fact, each day ended with everyone getting out their paddles to make it back to the bar in ... ...read more
  • Hybrid Blackout Panda Team Wins Second Sarasota Event January 13, 2015 What do you get when you combine half of Viper 205 Blackout Proposal, with Viper 222 Ghost Panda? Blackout Panda, with Peter Beardsley, Danny Pletsch, and Megan Magill Pletsch, and a win at the second stop of the Sarasota Winter Viper Circuit.   The top two teams from the Western Long Island Sound season standings in 2014 combined forces to win the first North American Viper regatta of the year, sailed in a moderate, shifty northeasterly in Sarasota Bay January 10-11. “It made sense to team up since our respective co-owners couldn’t make the trip, and sailing in shorts in January is a lot better than staying at home,” Beardsley explained. Each sailor on Blackout Panda took turns on the helm every third race, making for a unique team win with three co-skippers. Saturday saw fleet newcomers and 505 class veterans from ... ...read more
  • HAPPY NEW YEAR TO VIPER SAILORS AROUND THE WORLD January 9, 2015 2014 was a great year for racing a Viper 640, with major regattas in all four corners of the U.S., across Australia, and Europe. This coming year looks even more promising, as a full year of racing and Viper fun is already planned. GULF YACHTING ASSOCIATION MAY GO VIPERING The 30+ yacht clubs of the Gulf Yachting Association have been competing in their Capdevielle Regatta series for decades in club-owned Flying Scots. The GYA has been looking to replace the Flying Scots with a newer design that will be fast and fun to sail, and attract more people to participate in sailing on the Gulf Coast. Over the past year, Rondar Raceboats’ Paul Young and Dan Tucker have been working with the GYA in a focused effort to have the Viper 640 selected as the new GYA Capdevielle boat. The commodores of the GYA ... ...read more
  • Sarasota Winter Circuit Off To A Rousing Start December 18, 2014 December 13-14, 2014 – Sarasota Sailing Squadron – Sarasota, FL Phil and Wendy Lotz sailing with Luke Lawrence dominated followed mostly by Brad Boston. It was great to have Ethan Bixby (former North Sails St. Pete) in with the Hampton guys and they earned a solid third. Some notable things to highlight: Stephan Michael, the new owner of #99 joined us in his first public Viper outing and Cliff Whatmore of Sarasota made his first outing in Jeffery Lee’s Viper 105. Both teams had a blast learning the ropes. Full results: http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/9200 Photos: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarasota-Viper-640-Fleet/587973181298375?sk=photos_stream Provided by Travis Yates: Saturday we started at noon in 5-8kts out of the NNW and sailed one race in that before the breeze dialed up 8-10 for the next two then it was 10-15 on and off for the balance with some planning in the last race. With north-ish ... ...read more
  • Ghost Panda Wins Inaugural MidAtlantic Championship December 4, 2014 Until 2014, there weren’t many good options for Viper racing in the northeast after HPDO Columbus Day weekend.  And that’s ok – the weather gets colder, the days get shorter, and people start itching to sail even smaller boats for frostbiting, go skiing, or just hibernate.  However at least for me, when given the option between putting the Viper away for the winter in the northeast versus traveling south to get in one last regatta, the choice seems easy.  Make it so that the drive is less than seven hours away, throw in an oyster roast, and I’ll almost forget that half the drive is in a state where radar detectors are prohibited. Hampton YC is home to one of the fastest growing Viper fleets on the East Coast.  The fleet doubled in size in early 2014 with the addition of ... ...read more
  • GREAT RACING, GREAT FRIENDS, GREAT BEER, 30 VIPERS October 14, 2014 The High Performance Dinghy Open, better known as the “HPDO” has a slogan: “Great racing, great friends, great beer.”  Usually all of these things are present for the Viper 640 Class, and the 2014 edition was no exception: 30 boats competing in 8 races over two days, with the leaderboard constantly shuffling and 15 teams posting at least one race result in the top 5, a post-dinner fleet debrief that took over the bar at American YC, much to the surprise of AYC’s members, and plenty of mini kegs of Heineken.  Normally saying that the beer was warmer than the air temperature would be a major insult to the beer, but Saturday started with driving rain and unseasonably cool temperatures to cause some to reconsider their apparel choices a year in advance of the North Americans, to be sailed in ... ...read more
  • VERMONSTERING: IN SEARCH OF CHAMP October 10, 2014 Written by Peter Beardsley Since it’s the day before the final major northeast Viper regatta of 2014, I realized it’d be a good idea to finish the writeup of the fantastic event from two weeks ago that I promised event chair Jason Hyerstay I’d write.  Normally HPDO ends the season for us, but the first (hopefully annual) Lake Champlain Viper Open made me wonder whether I got that right.  Jason emailed me a year ago asking what would be involved in getting sailors to join the 2 other Vipers already on Lake Champlain for a fall regatta.  The Vipers aren’t a demanding bunch.  Pick a windy time of year.  Keep costs down and the event charming.  Some fresh water and plentiful local beer can’t hurt.  Maybe have cheese falling from the clouds to keep the wives happy – let’s ... ...read more
  • BRAD BOSTON WINS VIPER 640 2014 NORTH AMERICA CHAMPIONSHIP September 7, 2014 Written by Buttons Padin, V640 Class Administrator   Brad Boston (Sarnia, Ont.), sailing with Curtis Florence (Cleveland, OH) and Chad Corning (New Rochelle, NY) sat in third place after 11 races over three days of sailing from Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. That trio executed a classic come-from-behind finish on the fourth and final day to claim the 2014 Viper 640 North American Championship. Boston presided over a sailmakers’ boat handling seminar Friday night and was overheard commenting how it was unusual for him to be only four points off the lead without having won any of the 11 races sailed over the first three days. That quickly changed as the fleet of 35 Viper 640s headed out through the breakwater for the final day of racing. ABYC PRO Steve Kuritz wrapped-up his successful regatta with the following overview: “In the end, ... ...read more
  • NO PAIN, NO GAIN ON DAY 3 OF VIPER NORTH AMERICANS September 5, 2014 Written by V640 Press Office A solid sea breeze and short chop made the third day of the 2014 Viper North Americans one for the record books. Epic conditions prevailed for the third day in a row, with a bit more breeze added for extra measure.  With three straight days of planing conditions, Viper sailors will remember this regatta for a while.  Local sailors Jay Golison, Steve Flam, and Mike Bradley dominated the day with a 2-1-1-1 to move up to fourth, but Jeff Grange, Tedd White and Chris Parker held onto their lead, with second and third only four points behind going into the final day. Photos courtesy and copyright Bronny Daniels / www.joysailing.com. The Alamitos Bay Yacht Club race committee got off four races, totaling 11 of the 14-race target for the championship.  As the afternoon progressed, there was ... ...read more
  • Viper 640 North Americans – Screaching in Long Beach September 5, 2014 Written by Buttons Padin, V640 Class Administrator With planing conditions forecast and the sun shining, Viper sailors awoke happy but sore and groggy from a 4-race first day and evening festivities. “You have to really work hard to not have fun when sailing out here” said outgoing Class President Peter Beardsley. “The wind is great, the competition top notch, and the shore side activities are well hydrated.” The forecast was for 15 knots from the west with Day 1 leaders Jeff Grange, Tedd White and Chris Parker able to hold onto their overall lead despite not winning the day. ABYC PRO Steve Kuritz sent the fleet out to the Course so the visiting sailors could experience ocean swells and the full Long Beach experience. The sea breeze didn’t arrive as early as had been forecast but after an hour’s postponement, ... ...read more
  • Jeff Grange Takes Control of Viper 640 North Americans After First Day September 3, 2014 Written by Buttons Padin, V640 Class Administrator Long Beach, CA Some championship regattas fall into the trope of “it’s never like this here.”  In Long Beach, California, this was not true thankfully for the Viper 640 fleet.  Despite dire forecasts, several days of light winds during practice, and an hour on-shore postponement, the Viper 640 North American Championship enjoyed Chamber of Commerce conditions with a classic Long Beach seabreeze for the 34 boats in attendance.  Sailing the inside course, the fleet sailed briskly through the relatively flat seas where hard hiking proved key for the day. In the first race, the fleet split evenly going upwind with both sides of the fleet converging at the first mark. Blasting downwind the boats were hitting speeds in the low teens as boathandling proved a critical asset. In the end, Jeff Grange (Santa Barbara, ... ...read more