27 Vipers made the annual pilgrimage to Western Long Island Sound’s American YC for the HPDO (aka, the “High Performance Dinghy Open”). Despite the lead appendages, Vipers have been a mainstay at the HPDO for several years, with 35 Vipers in attendance in 2010 and 27 Vipers in 2011. The 2012 edition had 31 Vipers signed up until some late cancellations dropped the turnout slightly. Saturday’s conditions started with a steady 13-18 kts from the southwest for the first three races, all of which were won by 2012 ACCs champ Jason Carroll and his team on Viper 160 Argo despite several general recalls, Z flags and even the appearance of the black flag for the second and third races. The breeze clocked hard to the right in race 4, skewing the course significantly. The breeze stayed up as the clouds rolled in, but the unstable, shifty conditions prevented additional racing on the day. Saturday night, competitors enjoyed a great dinner with the 111 boats in attendance along with all the Heineken they could drink. Much of the Viper fleet gathered after dinner for a debrief and Q&A session on the patio with Brad Boston of DoyleBoston Sails. (Photo above: Viper 163, Eclipse, with Cam McKnight, Weston Friedman and Anne Corvi, enjoy Saturday’s champagne sailing. Photo courtesy Photoboat.com)
Sunday’s forecast was for zero wind, rain and significantly colder temperatures. A couple of teams decided to stay home, even though Sunday morning began with 9-12 kts from the east and better conditions than advertised. The breeze clocked hard left on the first run in Race 5 to skew the course much like in Race 4, and shut down almost entirely for Race 6 with an additional major shift to the left that allowed competitors to set (and gybe) kites on the beat. While the conditions were challenging for sailors and the race committee, Jason Carroll’s team was able to win four races and pack it in early during Race 6’s wind shift to win the race to the hoist with the regatta in hand. Brad Boston with a new team in the front of Jackpot finished second, and Joe Healey finished third. Viper 179, DragonFire, had the best result of its 2012 campaign with a strong fourth. Results. Photos from Photoboat.com will be posted later this week.
The regatta wraps up the 2012 Northeast Viper circuit. 49 Viper 640 teams from the northeast competed in at least one regatta, 24 in at least three regattas. Joe Healey won the circuit by placing in the top 3 in four of the six events. Final standings.