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, the day’s first race got off in 6-8 knots of breeze. Kuritz noted that “the day started out light and some different sailors came to the front; but when the wind finally filled-in, the heavy air experts took charge again.” By the time the third heat of the day started, the predicted 14-15 knot sea breeze had arrived. The last run, with great waves and ocean swells, found the Viper 640 sport boats surfing at 14+ knots down the 1.1 mile leeward legs with gusts approaching 20 knots with breeze-driven chop on top of the swells to make upwind driving a true challenge.

The first win of the day went to Australian Rod Berteaux sailing with country mates Chris O’Keefe and Murray Howsen. As the wind picked-up a bit for the second heat, local sailor Jay Golison sailing with Steve Flam and Mike Bradley took the gun.

The story of the day, however, is that Day One leader Grange finished today adding a 6, 5, and 1 to add to his four-bullet first day to retain the lead with 10 points after seven races. Kevin Taugher won the day with a 3-2-3 to move into second with a total of 16 points, and Brad Boston scored a 9-3-2 for a 17 point total. With seven races in the books, sailors are now discarding their worst finish. A maximum of 14 races are scheduled over the course of the event, though Friday and Saturday cannot start a race after 3:30 pm to accommodate a fleet banquet on Friday and awards on Saturday.

ABYC Event Chair Tim Carter, by the way, sits in 8th place. Carter has orchestrated a truly world-class regatta. Commenting on today’s sailing, Carter noted with a smile, “Today was another epic day in paradise.” All the competitors agreed. Results: http://www.abyc.org/upload/2014_Viper_NA3.htm

The Viper 640 North American Championship is a qualifier regatta for the EFG Viper Pan-American Championship. Also helping make this regatta a success are Ullman Sails, Doyle Sailmakers, North Sails, Quantum Sails, Goslings Rum, the Belmont Brewing Company, Rondar Sailboats USA, Sailing Pro Shop, and Rooster.