Written by Justin Scott

Class Officers are elected for a two year cycle, and the time for new elections is upon us.

Paul Zimmerman is stepping down as Technical Committee Chair after 4 years in that post. John McCormack is stepping down as Treasurer after two years. Thank you to both of them.

Jay Harrell (existing Class Secretary) has offered to stand as Class Treasurer. We have received nominations for David Guggenheim for Technical Committee chair and for Charles Goodrich as Class Secretary. I think all three will do excellent jobs.

This is Charles second year in the class. He was one of the moving forces behind the creation of the recent western Long Island Sound fleet. He has traveled extensively to class regattas and is well know to various fleets.

Jay has been a part of the class almost since inception. He led the effort on the website which has had such a huge impact on our class. He is an active part of the South East fleet and hosted the first Viper Regatta of the year on Lake Sinclair this month. Frankly without Jay, the class would not be where it is now. Jay has offered to provide some continuity and pick up the accounts from John. We will be looking for someone who would like to help the class by volunteering to take over as class treasurer in the future.

David Guggenheim is well known to Viperers in the South East. This will be David’s third year with the class. He has already spent a lot of time with Brian Bennett, Paul Young and Paul Zimmerman on various technical issues. David understands the class philosophy of a fast, easy, affordable one design sportsboat. He will make himself accessible to the broad membership and the New Zealand lamb chop barbecues which he throws at Regattas are
not to be missed. He will preserve our one-design credo and at the same time ensure that the class stays modern with a controlled process to allowing sensible updates.

If there is anyone that we have not contacted who could and would like to play a role at the class level. Please let us know. Contact either Jay or myself. We would love to hear from you

I have agreed to run for another term as Class President. For various reasons (all good), this must be my last term. I would like the class to work on identifying my successor over the next 12 months so that we can have a smooth transition. It’s been a great run. When we reformed the class at Maddys over the 2003 winter holidays we had 6 initial members, no class builder, no class molds…….just a great boat, a lot of enthusiasm and too much gin in our veins. At our first NAs the following summer, we were thrilled to have 9 boats on the start line. 4 years later……we have a terrific class builder, we have 31 boats entered for CRW with our eyes firmly set on a 40 to 50 boat start at the NAs on Long Island Sound this fall, Our designer has returned to North America to set up a first class distribution and service operation, we are the fastest growing smaller sportsboat class in North Americas and most important of all we are having a bundle of fun. There are still many gaps and unfulfilled opportunities but after this term its time for me to hand on the baton

A special word of thanks goes to Paul Zimmerman who is stepping down as Class Tech Committee Chair. Paul is one of those guys who just gets on and gets the job done. He has done a bit of everything for the class over the last four years, including demos and regattas all around the country, sharing boat handling tips to countless new class members and helping us figure out fixes for our boats. He sails more races in our local series each year than
anyone else in the Marblehead fleet. Most of all he quietly spent countless hours, weeks and months bringing the original rules up to date with a modern idiom, incorporating the modifications for the new boats and organizing class votes to adopt the carbon mast, the new spinnaker sheeting position and the new keel bulb. It was a huge amount of work and we should all be deeply appreciative.

Here is the 2009 Viper 640 Class Association Membership Renewal/Application and Election Ballot. The results of the election for class officers will be announced on February 13, 2009 at the St Petersburg NOOD so votes must be received by February 9th.

Justin Scott
Viper 640 Class President