A little background:  One of the attractive features of the Viper Class to many folks, especially in the recent economic turmoil, is our “one set of sails per year” class rule.  This concept has been with us since the restart of the Class and was updated early this year via a Class vote that closed some loopholes and added provisions for registering or “buttoning” sails.  Registration makes compliance easy for all of us to implement and monitor going forward.


Yeah, it can seem restrictive and even damn un-American to be limited to only one set of sails a year if you come from an open class and are used to buying lots of sails.  On the other hand (and seriously) our sail acquisition rule really levels the playing field and allows us all to know we face the same decisions managing and using our sail inventories.


Most folks simply use their older sails for less important events or local one design or handicap sailing and bring out their best stuff for the big Viper regattas.  Our main and jib minimum cloth weights are relatively high and most brands of sails are lasting pretty well.  We realize this doesn’t completely eliminate the check book wars we see in other classes, but it does help tame it and gives more boats a chance of doing well — if they sail well.


The rule is specific (see rule 7.8 Sail Acquisition) – only registered sails are to be used in a Viper Class one design race.  If you “acquire” a sail, you need to register it.  A sail gets acquired when you first use it in a sailboat race.  If you want to buy a set of sails just for cruising with the kids or practice, go for it.  Just be aware of the line you would cross if you used those sails in any race (one design or other).  Who wants to be “that guy”?


Attached is a short description of how the Class registration process has been set up and works, how to get stickers specific to your boat and sails, where they go, etc.  Basically, any sails in your inventory built before 2011 get registered for free and get a black sticker.  Sails built starting in 2011 get a red sticker and the $25 to register each sail goes to support Class operations.


Of course, we need to phase all this in.  The registration mechanics were trialed in April by the technical committee at the San Diego NOOD and Charleston.  It seems to be pretty painless.

  • New sails?  Get your stickers now.  They can be obtained directly from the class (by owner or sailmakers) via PayPal by clicking here.
  • Existing sails?  You need stickers by the end of the year, unless required at a specific regatta.  By January 2012, all sails at  a Viper regatta will need Class registration stickers.  Stickers for existing inventories (free) will be available from Tim Carter, Ben Steinberg and Dave Nickerson at most regattas they attend or via an email to those guys.


Thanks in advance for all of your help to implement this.