Viper 640 Snake Bytes - May 2023 - Viper 640 International Class Association


 Snake Bytes
May 26, 2023
Regattas, New Boats, Recaps



As the dust has settled from the 2023 All State Sugarbowl Viper Worlds in New Orleans in March, the Class’s eyes are now focused on the North Americans at Nepean Sailing Club in Ottawa, ON, September 22-24. 

Reflecting the sailors’ opinions voiced at the Worlds, the 2023 NAs will be a three-day event making it easier on everyone’s work and travel schedules. Currently there are 19 Vipers registered so there’s room for you, too.

Mark your calendar, register online, and make your plans to sail at Class International Chair (and everyone’s favorite Viperer) Steve Chapman’s home club.



Only a few of us have sailed on Lac Deschênes, and the Nepean One-Design Regatta is a way to pick-up a boatload of local knowledge before sailing the NAs.

The registration for the Nepean One-Design regatta is open:

This is a great multi-class event. The Club has great dry sail facilities, puts on a good BBQ on Saturday and the Vipers have an active Viper Pit. We’re expecting a 14+ fleet this year so hope to see you there.

For those less active owners, this is a great place to come to improve your boat set-up, get tips from members of the Class Technical Committee and just generally have fun hanging out with the Viper class.

We will run a tune up late Friday afternoon for those interested.

This is the venue of the 2023 North American’s, so come and check out the venue.

We may even have a few boats from Marblehead or Long Island Sound coming to check it out and make the competition even more interesting. 

Something you don’t want to miss.




Sure, it’s finally getting warm in the northern part of the continent, but it’s not too early to start planning on warm weather sailing during the chilly days of next winter.

Sarasota Sailing Squadron’s Viper Winter Series Is Back

The Viper 640 Class is thrilled to be returning to the Squadron next winter for three weekends December 9-10, January 13-14, and February 10-11. Registration will be opening shortly but we’re all looking to see Travis, Dave, and all the rest of the SSS folks for some competitive Viper sailing.

Bacardi Invitational Regatta Back On Our Schedule, Too!

The Class will be traveling across Florida to Miami following Sarasota for one of the most well-loved regattas in Viper history – The Bacardi Invitational – March 6-9, 2024. Sara Zanobini, Eddie Cutillas, and Mark Pincus will be offering their traditional Bacardi post-race hospitality with its own Cuban flavor. Registration will be open soon on Yacht Scoring, but in the meantime, mark your calendar and make plans to sail in Miami.


Regatta Recaps –
Mary Ewenson
Checks-in From Annapolis

Sorry for the slow response. Been up to my eyeballs in EWE Spirit Cup, which was yesterday. Huge success with over $35,000 raised! The sailing was not quite as good, as there was no wind, but the party was a success, and there’s a lot more EWE Spirit gear in the local fleet thanks to a friend who was very aggressive at the “merch” table. Totally fun coincidence is Dave Nicholson and his wife were in town on their way north with their new powerboat and swung by the racecourse and the party. Great to see them.

The Sailing World Annapolis Regatta (May 5-7) was a great event with 14 boats racing. Though the wind was light all three days, we got seven races in. Jimmy Praley edged out Martin Casey on the last day to win by two points. With the conditions as they were, and with no drops, the regatta win was in play right through the last race.

In true Peter Ill fashion, though he could not sail all three days, he brought his boat to Annapolis and rigged it to be race-ready for Dave Hillmyer, Ryan Dempsey, and Beatrice Waterman to sail on Friday and Sunday. Peter subbed in for Beatrice on Saturday.

One sailor, who had never sailed a Viper before, walked up to me at the hoist on Sunday as we were ushering all the out-of-town boats to the front of the line and letting them take their keels out before the local boats hoisted. He said he just wanted to tell me how impressed he was with the Viper fleet both on and off the water.

Newcomers to the fleet, Thing 3, had to miss the second day of sailing for the Coronation. Yes, you read that right.

We had a great evening of pizza, ice cream, and Legos at my house on Saturday night. As usual, when you get the Viper fleet together it’s a great time, and we all ended the weekend looking forward to the next Viper event!




Upcoming Events – Mark your calendars

There is a whole boatload of Viper regattas over the next few months. Make plans to sail in as many as you can. And, be kind to the organizers…and register early!


5/28-29 – LIS Championship – Noroton YC

6/2-4 – Atlantic Coast Championship – Hampton YC

6/17-18 – Seawanhaka Corinthian YC Viper Open – Oyster Bay

7/15-16 – 125th Larchmont Race Week – Larchmont YC

7/22-23 – Boothbay Harbor Regatta – West Boothbay, ME

7/28-30 – Viper 640 New England Champs – Corinthian YC


5//22-21 – GYA Opening Regatta – Southern YC

7/8-9 – GYA Meigs Regatta – Ft. Walton YC

7/22-23 – GYA Jr. Lipton Regatta – Bay Waveland YC

Great Lakes

5/27-28 – Ashbridge’s Bay YC Open – Toronto

6/3-4 – Bayview YC One-design Regatta – Detroit

6/17-18 – Nepean YC One-Design Regatta – Ottawa

7/1-2 – Viper 640 Canadian Championship – Sarnia YC


6/23-26 – Long Beach Race Week – Alamitos Bay YC


By Steve Chapman

There are now five new Rondar boats in North America that were built in the latter part of 2022. These new boats (321, 326, 327,328, and 333) came out of a new hull mold (no change in shape), have keels from a new keel mold, and flat top rudders from a new rudder mold.

These boats are by far the best boats that Rondar has produced. The finish of the hulls is superb. There is no lower cassette, so the hull fits very tightly around the keel exit. Everything lined up well, we really only had to make minor adjustments to the rudder bracket to get everything perfectly lined up with a laser.

Sailing again with a flat top rudder took some getting used to, but it has a really nice feel lower down.

Overall the gelcoat work was excellent and the ropes and lines as supplied were good quality. There are still some issues related to how Super Spar supplied the mast (the approved spinnaker halyard sheave was not fitted and the lowers were closed turnbuckle, which we had to replace). Rondar are working with Super Spar to get this sorted going forward.

Supply chain issues have mostly disappeared in the small boat building industry in the UK. However, we have very long lead times for masts, which delayed some of these deliveries. Rondar are actively working to change how our masts are procured to hopefully solve this problem.

Brad Boston said after the Worlds that his new boat was great, that with no preparation time they were able to sail really well, finishing 2nd in the Worlds.

If you are interested in a new boat, it is important to get your order in and put down a deposit. Orders made now through October will be delivered next spring. Contact Tyler Moore to order a boat in North America.



Some savvy advice from Viper 640 Governor Peter Beardsley

This note is for all of the new owners in the Class. 2023 marks my 13th year owning a Viper and 14th year sailing them if you count my crewing for Justin Scott at the 2009 Stamford North Americans. Sometimes I look back on old regatta results for fun (and because I am a weirdo who needs more hobbies), and I say to myself, “Geez, we weren’t very good.” And we weren’t. At our first ACCs in 2011, we finished last in the final race after shrimping the kite so badly on a douse that we had to untie the entire thing to haul it back into the boat and we were half a leg behind the next boat. We were 38th out of 44 in two races at the 2012 NAs, and despite our mid-fleet result overall, we somehow placed nine boats ahead of well-known Viper hack Jay Rhame (Editor’s note: Jay is now Peter’s boat partner), in large part because it was Year 2 for us and Year 1 for him.

I could go on, but despite some promising races early on, it took us several years to start being consistently in or near the top group. Most of our improvement came through hard-earned experience, and we got that experience by traveling to a bunch of regattas, listening intently at post-race debriefs, asking questions of more experienced sailors, and looking over everyone’s boats to find better rigging solutions.

Those early regatta results are fun to look at for another reason – not just seeing how bad Jay used to be in Vipers — but also realizing that there were tons of other newcomers at these events, which led to some really large turnouts. Most of us didn’t know what we were doing, some people showed up to the regattas never having sailed their boat before and not knowing how to rig it. People helped, shared advice pre- and post-race, and we improved accordingly. The only North Americans we missed was in Year 1 of owning the boat, and we still regret it – we thought it wouldn’t be a good use of our time to attend but in hindsight we would have learned a ton and ramped up our learning curve even faster.

So to all of the new folks: welcome, but please travel to a couple of events this summer. Don’t make any excuses about how your boat isn’t ready, how your crew hasn’t sailed a Viper before, how you don’t know how to put the mast back up without help – someone will help. You’ll make some errors, but you’ll learn a lot and make some new friends. And when you get back, you’ll be light years ahead of people from your home fleet who didn’t travel, and you can regale them with stories and tips to help them sail their boats better. It doesn’t matter what the title of the regatta is – regional championship, North American Championship, miscellaneous open regatta – they’re all just Vipers events.

Take your mast down, strap down the boat, and go sail. After all, that’s one of the main reasons why you bought a Viper instead of a bigger boat, right?

Editor’s Note: Thanks, Peter, for this message and all you do for the Class.


Member Dues

All Viper owners should have received numerous notes to pay their Class Dues. If you haven’t yet, please click on this link and sign-in to Wild Apricot using your e-mail address.  VIPER DUES


Questions or comments? 

Have a something to share? Have a question or comment? How about a great Viper photo? Contact Viper 640 Class Administrator Ed “Buttons” Padin at


Ed Padin: Viper 640 Class Administrator, Office: 914-834-8286  Address: 360 Huguenot St. #1709, New Rochelle, NY 10801
Viper 640 Class Association Website:   
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