Viper 640 Snake Bytes - September 1, 2020 - Viper 640 International Class Association

Time to get back to the gym! Read on…


 Snake Bytes
September 1, 2020



The summer of 2020 will be remembered for many things, but great regatta sailing will not be one of them. We had the hottest July on record here…lots of sunshine (not much wind). The pandemic radically altered how we live day to day – how we shop, socialize and engage in sports and cultural activities. I haven’t been to a restaurant since the Bacardi regatta in Miami! The Black Lives Matter movement has also made an important impact. And it’s an election year in the US….

So with all of this, we have taken to sailing as a family. Our local clubs have been very cautious opening with many restrictions imposed by Public Health officials. We innovated to sail “time trials” when regattas and organized sports were still banned. The fleet racing has now been reorganized into smaller fleets to meet the requirements for fewer participants in any one event now that the Covid restrictions have been relaxed somewhat.

Getting out on the water in August has been a great pleasure. Not too serious, low stress and very enjoyable. It’s a fun dimension to Viper sailing. It’s also nice to see fleets across North America starting to be active again. Some racing with regular crew (masked up), some family, some in crew “bubbles”, some trying out long-distance racing in PHRF fleets.

The regattas and competition, parties and socializing with friends and crew mates will return, hopefully next year. Whatever way you choose to sail your Viper, I hope you make it fun, enjoy the ride and come away with the same smiles that I have.


Steve Chapman

North American President
Viper 640 Class Association



With the 2020 North Americans cancelled, the Class has worked with Noroton and Stamford Yacht Clubs to create nine days of sailing you’ll never forget.

October 2-3, 2021 (Saturday & Sunday) – The inaugural Women’s Viper 640 International Championship hosted by Noroton Yacht Club. Women have been sailing in Vipers and part of the class since the beginning, however mostly as crew. These sailors have told us that they want a regatta exclusively helmed by women. All-female crews are preferred, but if a woman helmsperson needs to fill a spot on the boat with a man, that will work, too. Regardless of the composition of the fleet, this will be an historic regatta to sail in, help with, or just spectate. NOTE: We are looking for owners willing to let their boat be sailed by a woman helm during this regatta. Please let us know if your boat would be available and, if you’d like to crew on your boat during the WIC, please let us know that, too.

October 4-5 (Monday & Tuesday) – 2021 Viper 640 North American Championship hosted by Stamford Yacht Club. Just around the corner from Noroton, the fleet will expand to include all sailors for this major event unto itself that will also serve as a warm-up for the 2021 Worlds a few days later. Former Viper sailors Richard West and Charles Goodrich are co-chairing the event with Sandy Grosvenor signed-on as PRO.

October 6 (Wednesday) – It’s a short sail back to Noroton for registration and inspection for the 2021 Worlds.

October 7-10 (Thursday – Sunday) – The 2021 Viper 640 World Championship. Noroton will host what is predicted to be the largest Viper regatta ever. Teams from across North America will be joined by Viper teams from the UK, Europe, South Africa and, not to be left out, our fun-loving sailor friends from Australia. Four straight days of sailing are planned before we all arrive back ashore and pass out from exhaustion. Just can’t wait!

The Notice of Race for each of these Championships will be available shortly.

So, what should I do now?

1.      Mark these dates in your calendar so you have no excuse not to sail
2.      Start to assemble crew, housing, transportation
3.      If you want a new boat, order it from Rondar now




Sharon Green of Ultimate Sailing fame joined the Class for the 2019 Goslings Viper 640 World Championship at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club a year ago. She took a huge number of amazing photos during those four days of racing and the Class is being rewarded by being selected to appear on the June pages of her 2021 calendar.

The main shot is a common sight for many of us, a colorful array of spinnakers roaring downwind. The lower shot, however, caught Peter & Rachel Beardsley, Jay Rhame and Simon Kartstoft Jensen launching off a wave having rounded the leeward gate and barreling upwind.

You can order your own copy of Sharon’s 2021 Ultimate Sailing Calendar HERE. Printer just finishing production so delivery in 4-6 weeks.

If you’d like to see the gallery of images from Sharon’s visit to the 2019 Worlds, click HERE.




NA Prez Steve Chapman has called for the 2020 international Annual General Meeting to be held on Saturday, December 12. A Saturday in the Western Hemisphere was chosen so people in Australia could be available. Details on this meeting will follow.

The key with this timing, however, is that the Class Constitution and By-Laws requires any proposed changes to the Class Rules be submitted to the Technical Committee 90 days beforehand. That will allow the TC to review and put to the membership for a vote before the meeting.

If you have a proposal to change the Constitution, By-Laws or the Class Rules, please click HERE and scroll to section 11 for procedural guidance.

Coaching at Sanctioned Regattas Not Allowed

New Class Rule in effect as of this year – Under the Prohibitions, Restrictions and Exemptions section of the Class Rules, rule 10.5 was modified as of 1/1/20 to prohibit private on the water coaching at any time during race days of a “sanctioned regatta.” Sanctioned regattas are identified by the Class every year and a list is published by the respective Executive Committees. Starting in 2021, to help clarify which regattas will be deemed “sanctioned,” a new drop-down on the website’s Class menu tab will list them.

Permanent Bow Numbers

Also approved as a Class Rule last AGM was the addition of permanent 3-digit bow numbers on the bow of our Vipers. This was to become effective October 1 but, like so much else in our lives, the pandemic sidetracked implementation. Steve Chapman and Buttons Padin are working with a company that will produce these standardized numbers and ship them directly to you. More information on the actual costs and ordering process will be forthcoming and, yes, we are taking into account that some states require sailboats to have 3″ registration numbers on their bows HERE and scroll to rule 11.5.




August 13, 2020

Sailed over the first weekend of Larchmont Race Week, July 11-12, nine Viper crews contended with face masks, social distancing, and light, fickle Long Island Sound winds. In the end, however, it was the host Club’s Matt Kaplan and Harry Koeppel sitting atop the leader board and taking the win with a scoreline of 3-1-2-2. On the opening day, the light southwesterly wind that (at first) made the right side of the course look favorable proved to be a loss leader. Matt and Harry bailed out and went left on the first leg and were able to climb back into the hunt among the boats on the left. From there out it was a crap shoot to pick a side, look for pressure and, if possible, stay in phase. READ MORE

A side note from Peter Beardsley:

For those who don’t know the name of our 2020 ACCs champions, don’t feel like you’re out of the loop. It was their first ever Viper regatta as skippers. Matt Kaplan and Harry Koeppel are two recent college graduates. Both were collegiate All American skippers, and both were raised in the Larchmont YC junior program. And while it would have been great if these guys had gotten a Viper as a graduation present, that didn’t happen, but they were still gifted a boat when Mike Puleo, owner of Viper 253, offered to let them borrow 253 for the first weekend of Larchmont Race Week when Mike was busy with other commitments. Mike’s charter fee? Matt and Harry agreeing to crew for Mike at a regatta later in the season.

The end result? New class champions, an existing owner with new rock star crew, and some new potential fleet recruits. We can all imagine a parade of horribles for lending a new sailor our boat, but there are a lot of great things that can happen too. Special thanks to the Larchmont YC Viper fleet for lending the team a hand with rigging, launching and derigging to minimize said parade of potential horribles. It takes a village, but this is how we grow the Class.

Matt (top) and Harry (bottom) sailing in college


Gulfport Yacht Club, August 1-2, 2020

This year’s Junior Lipton Challenge was the 75th running of this historic regatta, one of the crown jewels of the Gulf Yachting Association’s Capdevielle interclub championship series. Hosted by the Gulfport (MS) Yacht Club with their Sailing Director and Viper sailor Sam Vasquez as Event Chair, the regatta reached its 6-race limit for the ten teams participating. READ MORE 

Team “Big Rooster” Wins 2020 Annapolis NOOD


August 31, 2020

Sailing in Annapolis in August is always challenging. Plug in the passing of a tropical depression and the current pandemic, and the conditions are properly difficult.

The one out-of-town team that came for the Annapolis NOOD was Tyler and Jane Moore’s “Big Rooster” with Hampton native turned Annapolitan Austin Powers and his girlfriend Kayla Harper. The remainder of the fleet was made up of the local Annapolis gang.

Over the span of three days. the Vipers were treated to 10 races in a range of conditions.

Friday was generally light to moderate and had a massive range of wind directions as the weather tried to play tricks on the race committee. With the fleet set up off Greenbury Point, the breeze oscillated from the Severn River to the Bay. The fleet was very mixed with everyone having challenges getting the shifts right. At the end of the day and after four races, Mary Ewenson, sailing with husband Geoff and Carl Smit, held a slight lead over the Big Rooster, and the third spot was held by Arnie Brown and his team.

Read More and Results



When Viper 640 Class Governor Tim Carter was asked to report on any west coast regattas, his reply simply was,

“What’s a regatta? LOL.”



Well, Sarasota Sailing Squadron’s majordomo Travis Yates just sent the following note to Steve Chapman. Travis is the Managing Operations Director for ActionQuest a largely water-based adventure and educational program for teenagers. As noted below, he left the US to oversee completion of a new training vessel and got stuck out of the country. After reading the following update, you’re spending two weeks at home with your family won’t seem like such a hardship.

Steve. long story short….

As you know….I left Florida 48 hours after the last Viper Event in Feb to go back to Thailand to finish the school ship boat build…. got stuck there, the project delayed, finally launched July 2nd, got out of the shipyard on July 22nd, could not get any crew into Thailand to move the boat, found a 4th person to help deliver the boat to Singapore, Singapore shut down again for crew changes the week before, I sailed Vela 800 nm to north Indonesia, picked up a fifth guy and then sailed 2300 nm to the Maldives (arrived yesterday) and I am now trying to get my operational crew in country and up to speed before students arrive on Sept 15th to sail to Cape Town.

Keeping my business afloat and trying to stay married / and even get on the ballot for ‘father of the year’ is all I have managed to do since March (the later is still question/concern). I should be back in the US in two to three weeks if all goes well. I will get dug into the SSS board and managers heads and figure out what we can do. From afar is seems very unlikely that any event that requires long distance travel for teams will be a success this winter… but I know 100% we could all do with some good healthy time on the water (I am dying inside) so I will do my best to see you and my Viper family this winter to carry on the tradition.



Good Luck Travis, we’ll see you on your successful return!


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: 18 Normandy Lane, New Rochelle, NY 10804
Viper 640 Class Association Website:   
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