Snake Bytes asked Nick Jerwood for his download on the Schweppes Viper 640 World Championship
The boat we sailed was purchased new by Brian DeVries in September ‘17 and it was his plan to bring together a team to compete in the worlds and my good fortune that he asked me to be on that team.
Having ended up with the win then it would be awesome to get the chance to defend the title in Long Beach next year, if we can put together a good plan and sensible budget then the prospect could become a reality, especially if we can keep the same team together as a unit. Sailing with Brian and Matt was an enormous pleasure, an experience that I wish to repeat at any future opportunity. I hope they both feel the same way!
The Viper was great fun to sail in all conditions, fast responsive and controllable but not without a bite when we got it wrong from time to time. Thankfully we were able to make our practice pay and kept the mast pointing skywards even in the windy race of the opening day. While the racing in light wind was tactical and rewarding, there is little to compare with “sending it” downwind in over 25knots, it is what we sailors live for and the Viper delivers the adrenalin rush by the bucket full. I must give credit to the builder, Class Association and Viper enthusiasts that encouraged me to become part of the Class. Thanks to Rod Beurteaux, Jon Stubbs and Rupert Leslie for their early efforts on that score!
The boat is a star, but so are the sailors that compete in them, myself not included, they were tenacious and competitive on the water, friendly happy and gregarious off it. Much like the Flying 15 fleet of my roots, the social experience of competing in the class appears to be every bit as important as the racing and long may it remain so! Thanks to all those that competed in Perth for making it such an enjoyable experience, hope it is possible to meet you all again in Long Beach.