Written by Justin Scott
“The profile of the stage suggested it would suit strong climbers and cunning, powerful and daring descenders” – Tour De France Progress Report July 11th 2009.
We were slumped exhausted in our Viper communal house at Newport after the first day of racing, watching stage 8 of the Tour De France, and the analogy was not lost on us. Five races of 4 legs apiece. A sixth race of 3 legs Each leg of 1.1 mile. A 3 mile ride to and from the race course. You do the maths! In stunning weather of sunshine and breeze of 14 – 18 knots, at the Coastal Living Newport Regatta, the Viper North East circuit had definitely hit the “mountain stage”.
Category one uphill legs and Yeee Haw planes downwind certainly suited the strong climbers and daring descenders. The Barrington YC Race Committee took full advantage of the breeze to start racing at 11.00 am and keep running them all day until the weary but exultant teams were allowed to head home at 4.00 pm.
Sail Newport and Coastal Living Magazine hosts a great party on Saturday evening under the tent right on the regatta site, a few paces from where we haul our boats with a beautiful view down the Newport harbor. Our bodies were crying out for Motrin but copious supplies of rum from sponsors Goslings, seemed to do the trick. The entry fee for the entire regatta was only $130 and included wristbands to three evenings of entertainment under the tent for all three crew. That is the kind of stimulus package that this economy needs.
The second day was forecast to be lighter, but the local breeze kicked in again so we tightened our uppers and girded our loins for another mountain stage. Several teams with their supplies of Motrin running low sailed by the boat and diplomaticaly reminded the RC that the SIs specified no race starts after 2.00 pm. The RC responded by announcing that there may be a couple less races and then they got us underway promptly. We eventually added another three x 4 leg races to our scores, for a total of 9 races and over 60 miles as the crow flies (double that for distance sailed) in one weekend of sailboat racing!
All in all, a great regatta.
This is the Vipers second appearance at the Coastal Living Newport Regatta. This year we added the event to our local NE circuit. Based on the great experience we have had in the last two years, the Viper class participation will continue to grow. We expect over 20 Vipers next year and we can eventually see this regatta hosting a major Viper event. Watch out if you dont see 50 vipers on a start line in Newport within the next three years!
The Vipers course was shared with some fellow sport boats, our good friends in the 5-0-5s, and the stupifyingly fast F18 Cats and A Cats. This is a fun circle to sail on with plenty of camraderie between the classes.
The enduring memory of the regatta will be the close racing and the strength of the Peloton. Just to give you all an idea of this, in all but two races the 3rd through 9th boat finished within 40 seconds of each other. In four of the races, 1st through 10th finished within 50 seconds of each other. There were position changes up and down every leg of every race. One bad gybe and the peloton ate you alive!
As we sprawled watching the Tour De France late on saturday evening, and the Peloton ground their way up the mountain to Aigle, Dan Tucker muttered “Huh, that doesn’t look too bad “
|1||54||Justin Scott, Ben Jacobsen||Marblehead/ CT||2||1||1||1||2||1||||2||2||12.00||1|
|2||107||HEBB, STUART||CORAL GABLES/ FL||||6||6||2||1||2||8||1||1||27.00||2|
|3||94||Nye, Jonathan||Old Greenwich/ CT||1||4||2||3||||8||7||7||5||37.00||3|
|4||55||Zimmerman, Paul||Marblehead/ MA||4||3||4||5||5||||6||6||6||39.00||4|
|5||18||Moise Solomon, Dave Nickerson &||Noank/ CT||10||2||5||4||3||3||||11||4||42.00||5|
|6||108||Griffin, Bill||Stonington/ CT||6||10||3||7||7||5||5||3||||46.00||6|
|7||81||Goodrich, Charles||Norwalk/ CT||5||5||||8||8||7||3||9||3||48.00||7|
|8||74||Bennett, Brian||Newport/ RI||7||9||9||6||[15/DNS]||6||2||5||7||51.00||8|
|9||50||Tucker, Dan||Marblehead/ MA||3||7||7||11||6||4||9||4||||51.00||9|
|10||98||VanValkenburgh, Kay||Boston/ MA||8||8||8||9||4||[15/DNS]||1||10||8||56.00||10|
|11||85||Freeborn, Zach||Portsmouh/ RI||12||11||||10||11||11||10||8||10||83.00||11|
|12||52||Boland, Fletcher||Somerville/ MA||11||||10||12||10||10||12||12||9||86.00||12|
|13||71||chapman, antony||phoenix/ AZ||13||13||12||13||[15/DNF]||15/DNS||13||13||13||105.00||13|
|14||22||Steinberg, Ben||Centerville/ MA||[15/DNS]||15/DNS||15/DNS||15/DNS||15/DNS||15/DNS||15/DNS||15/DNS||15/DNS||120.00||14|