On September 5, after a democratic vote of its member clubs, the Gulf Yachting Association (GYA) has selected the Viper 640 as the new boat to be sailed in its prestigious Capdevielle Series. The voting process was the culmination of a multi-year selection process to find a successor for the Flying Scot, the boat in current use.
The Gulf Yachting Association was founded in 1901 to support sailing and promote interclub completion. The GYA’s clubs follow the Gulf of Mexico coast from Sarasota Sailing Squadron in Florida, where the Viper holds its winter series, west to Houston Yacht Club, Texas, host to the 2013 Viper North Americans. Thirty-three Regular Member Clubs and five affiliate associations make up the GYA. www.gya.org
Vipers racing at Ft. Walton Beach YC in May 2015, site of the 2017 Viper NAs.
To say that the Viper Class Association and Viper owners around the world are thrilled at this news would be an understatement. The Viper was selected because it is an excellent sport boat platform, it has a thriving class association where the owners/class members “own” the design and determine the class rules, and a world class builder. Because the controlled evolution of the Viper over its lifetime, the Viper has proven to be a stable, yet exciting and fun boat to race and sail.
The GYA, in selecting a sport boat for the Capdevielle interclub racing boat, initially considered a dozen different boats, but narrowed-down the competition to the Viper and the VX One-both designed by Brian Bennett. In a close vote, the Viper was selected. The selection was a thorough process: both classes presented to the GYA Commodores in March 2015, and teams from each boat have been working hard through the season introducing the boats, their sailing characteristics, class infrastructure, and all the purchase options should that boat be selected.
The Viper team, including the VCA Executive Committee, Class Administrator, Rondar Raceboats, Gulf Performance Sailing, and GYA area Viper sailors who have done so much to make this happen, offer a warm welcome, to the Gulf Yachting Association clubs, their members, and friends. Welcome to the ever-growing Viper community.
We will create a comprehensive welcome/introduction program for GYA clubs and will engage in a sustained effort to turn the Viper into the sport boat of choice for Gulf sailors. Viper sailors outside the Gulf look forward to making a lot of new friends and in racing at some new venues, including the 2017 North American Championship at Ft. Walton Beach Yacht Club.
Dr. Jim Sears
Viper 640 Class Association President
What is the Capdevielle Series?
Dedicated in 1941 to the memory of Auguste Capdevielle, this trophy is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the Gulf Yachting Association. Auguste Capdevielle served as Commodore-President of the GYA from 1936 – 1939. He was also Commodore of the Southern Yacht Club, and for many years served as SYC’s Race Committee Chairman. This is the 74th year of competition between GYA clubs for this championship.
There are only two older competitions in the GYA – the Lipton (1920) and the Knost (1938). The Capdevielle trophy and associated banner are presented to the winning club, and awards are also presented to the second and third place clubs. Any club that participates in all dozen Capdevielle Regattas will receive special recognition, however, a club must sail in eight Capdevielle Regattas to be counted as the Capdevielle Championship.