The Viper 640 fleet returns to Florida for the third annual Winter Series. Each year turnout in Sarasota has increased, and 2015-16 is no exception, with 28 teams already registered for the series, with more expected. The first circuit event December 12-13 is expected to have 24 teams on the starting line, including the first club team from the Gulf Yachting Association (GYA) from St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club in Panama City, Florida. To help get newcomers up to speed, North Sails is sponsoring a rigging, tuning and boathandling clinic on Friday, December 11 to get new teams up to speed and veteran teams more refined and dialed in.
Leading the charge from North will be one of the weekend regatta favorites, Zeke Horowitz (Greenwich, CT), who has been racing in Sarasota Bay his entire life. 2014-15 winter circuit winners Peter Beardsley (Brooklyn, NY) and Danny Pletsch (Houston, TX) return, though in separate boats, as does last year’s runners up Henry Amthor (Hampton, VA). “Sarasota was a blast last year” said Beardsley. “We knew in February that we wanted to come back this winter and hopefully for many future winters. It’s fantastic racing at a great venue.”
Event chairman Travis Yates is excited for the racing to begin. “With teams coming from as far away as the West Coast of the U.S. and Quebec and the forecast promising sunny skies, temperatures in the upper 70’s and good breeze, we look forward to getting out on the water for some great racing.”
Additional Viper winter circuit events are scheduled for January 9-10 and February 6-7. Teams can discard the worst 35% of their scores, and the 2014-15 winner missed the first event and was able to sail only January and February to take the title, so there’s still plenty of time for teams to make plans to travel south, with mast-up storage available at Sarasota Sailing Squadron. For more details about the circuit, please go to http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/11371 and stay tuned to the Viper 640 Facebook Page for additional updates throughout the weekend.