Your Class Executive Committee is pleased to announce two important changes to the Executive Committee.  We welcome Dawn Kozak from Perth Amboy, NJ, as the new Class President and Garrett Johns from Anacortes, WA, as the new  Class Secretary.

New Class Leaders

New Class President Dawn Kozak trimming jib on Double D (photo courtesy of Tim Wilkes Photography)

A quick bit of background and explanation:

Dan Tucker is stepping down as Class President in order to accept a full time job with the new North American Rondar Raceboats, USA facility in Peabody, MA.  Dan will be responsible for marketing, sales and customer service. This in itself is very exciting news for the Viper Class. Dan will be describing his new role in more detail elsewhere, but suffice to say that we will be seeing increased professional promotion for our class and we can expect Dan to bring his passion for customer service and for Vipers to the role.

Jay Harrell has been a class officer of the Viper Class in one shape or form for over three executive committee terms, first as Class Secretary, then as Class Treasurer and then Class Secretary again. Last year, Justin stepped down as Class President, and so did the Class Secretary and the Chair of the Technical Committee. We asked Jay if he would stay on to provide some institutional continuity for the incoming team.  Jay graciously agreed to do so with the proviso that he might not complete a full term. The new executive team has been in place for a year, we have good bench strength and Jay has asked to step down.


Our Class Constitution provides that when an officer steps down partway through his or her 2-year term, that the remaining Executive Committee members appoint a replacement until the next election at the Annual General Meeting.  This is a practical way to deal with issues like this in a volunteer organization.  Dawn and Garrett have great skills, add some additional geographic diversity to the class leadership, and are enthusiastic about filling these roles for their remaining terms.  Dawn, Garrett and the rest of the Executive Committee (Tony Chapman and Dave Nickerson) will serve though 2012. Then we will hold normal elections as part of the calendar year 2012 Annual General Meeting at the North Americans in Marblehead in September 2012.


Dawn Kozak


We are thrilled to have our first female Class President.  Dawn qualifies as a founding member of the Viper 640 Class Association, owning three Vipers since 2005 – currently hull #108 named “Double D”. Since age 14, Dawn has enjoyed racing sailboats starting out in the junior sailing program and with her family at the Venice Yacht Club in Florida.  She currently serves on the Board of Governors at the Raritan Yacht Club in Perth Amboy, NJ in addition to chairing the club’s Red Grant Regatta, the largest keelboat regatta in the state of New Jersey, held each July.  Between her obligations as a club board member, a Viper racer, the 2012 President of the Viper Class, and Director of Learning Technology at Prudential, you can also find Dawn participating and promoting just about anything that has to do with sailing and the Viper Class.  The Viper of course is a great boat for female sailors and we expect Dawn to help us achieve even greater participation by women in the Class.

Garrett Johns

Part of the rapidly growing Pacific Northwest Viper contingent, Garrett owns Viper #129 together with his friend Steve Orsini.  Born and raised in the Seattle area, Garrett is a lifelong sailor who grew up racing on Puget Sound and in the San Juan Islands.  He’s has been involved in several racing classes, most recently Lido 14’s and Santana 20’s, both as a sailor and volunteering in class management.  We expect big things in the Pacific NW with Garrett involved.  Viper sailor by weekend, you can find Garrett behind the wheel of a UPS truck during the work week.

Thank you Dan!  Thank you Jay!

What can we say?  Dan and Jay reflect the best of what makes a volunteer organization like the Viper Class thrive.  Both have selfishly given countless hours of their time to help get us to where we are today.  Jay has been the man behind the curtain that built the original Class website and kept the site ticking and the forums humming.  Jay has helped transfer both functions seamlessly to a new set of volunteers.    Dan Tucker has been a mainstay of the Marblehead fleet and a card-carrying Viper road warrior for a dozen years.  Dan upped his commitment and stepped into some pretty big shoes, replacing Justin as President for 2011.  The consummate Viper advocate and supporter, it’s only natural for Dan to turn his passion for Vipers into a professional role at Rondar.  We’ll hear more from Dan directly about his new Rondar responsibilities, but needless to say, we all have another good friend in the right place to help build and support our Class going forward.