Viper 640 Snake Bytes - April 29 - Spring Preview - Viper 640 International Class Association

 Snake Bytes
April 29, 2024
Spring Viper preview


After a spectacular winter series in Sarasota, 23 Vipers migrated east to race in Miami in the Bacardi Cup from March 7-9. Day 1 found the boats ashore in the morning waiting for the breeze to fill in, but once it did, the fleet was off and running. Three races were completed on Thursday with some of the Class’s top sailors making their first venture onto Biscayne Bay. Returning back to the Bacardi bar Miami newbie Marek Zaleski (1-5-1) held a one-point lead over reigning NAs champ Jimmy Praley (3-3-2), but there was more sailing ahead. Also in the mix were Mary Ewenson and Mike Deyett.

In the first race on Friday, Zaleski’s Team Z had to retire followed by a 5-7 in the remaining races in the somewhat unusually moderate breezes on the Bay. Praley had a 7-13-3 day but commanding the day were Moise Solomon and Dave Nickerson, back to Bacardi after a long hiatus, with a dominating 2-2-1 moving them into second, one point behind Praley and one point over Team Z after the throw-out was calculated. But still in the mix was Mary Ewenson sitting in fourth having won race 4 followed by an 11-6.

Going into the final day’s two races, the regatta was anyone’s. Mike Deyett took his second Bacardi bullet in race 7 followed by an 8 in the finale that was good enough for him to end up in fifth. Solomon/Nickerson’s 8-6 finishes placed them in a solid fourth position while the top three boats finished the day one point apart. In the end, Ewenson’s 4th in race 7 and first in the finale was enough to beat fellow Annapolis sailor Praley for second, both at 27 points. But it was Marek Zaleski and his Noroton Yacht Club team from CT that eked out the Bacardi title by a single point with a 5-2 on Saturday.

Miami Viper staple, and Viper International Chair Steve Chapman summed up the regatta as follows: “It was really encouraging to see this many Vipers at Bacardi putting a cap on the excellent Sarasota Winter Series,” Steve noted. “And the conditions were really solid giving us a bit of everything – from the storm following us home after Wednesday’s Scorch to light-to-moderate breezes to winds getting us up on a plane. I’m really looking forward to returning in 2025 with an even bigger Viper contingent!”


Bacardi recap video



Atlantic Coast Championships at Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta – Annapolis

May 3 – 5

Sailing Club of the Chesapeake

Eastport Yacht Club, Annapolis, MD

Information and registration

24 Vipers registered and you know Mary Ewenson will have cake!!!

EWE Spirit Cup

May 18

Eastport Yacht Club

Information and registration

A one-day regatta in tribute to Geoff and the EWE Spirit Foundation

Hey, this means more cake!

Hampton Yacht Club One-design Regatta

May 18-19

Hampton Yacht Club, Hampton, VA

Information and registration

Two great reasons to go to Hampton: 1) test the waters where the 2025 NA will be sailed, and 2) get a look at NA President Peter Ill’s home turf. Plus, leave your boat there and return a few weeks later for the Southern Bay Race Week (see below).

Northeast Lipton Interclub Challenge

May 18 – 19

Noroton Yacht Club, Darien, CT

Information and registration

Thanks Justin Scott and Peter Beardsley for pulling off a northeast version of the GYA’s Lipton Cup. Like all GYA Capdeville regattas, the Lipton is club vs. club with multiple people helming the boat in different races. Two days or cut-throat racing as everyone vies to gain bragging rights for their club. 20+ clubs expected.

Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta – Detroit

May 31 – June 2

Bayview Yacht Club, Detroit, MI

This is where the mid-west Vipers get to strut their stuff in front of many other one-design classes. Join Marina, Eddie, Steve and Mark & Matt for some great sailing.

Southern Bay Race Week

May 31 – June 2

Hampton Yacht Club, Hampton, VA

Information and registration

Return to Hampton and your Viper to sail in this absolutely huge multi-class regatta. And, yes, Peter and the crew will still be there to host everyone’s Viper.



Long Beach Race Week & Viper PCCs

Alamitos Bay Yacht Club

June 21 – 23

Information and registration

Viper New England’s – Helly Hansen Sailing
World Regatta – Marblehead

July 26 – 28

Eastern Yacht Club

Information and registration

Sailing World and Marblehead Racing Association (MRA) are the Co-Organizing Authorities for this regatta and MRA will provide race management. Eastern Yacht Club (EYC) will be the host club. Vipers will launch from Boston Yacht Club (BYC).

2024 Race Week at Shelter Island –

Anniversary Regatta

August 3

Shelter Island Yacht Club

Information and registration

2024 Viper 640 North American Championship

Sept 13 – 15

Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Long Beach, CA

The Viper 640 North American Championship is traditionally the highlight of the sailing year in North America. This year it is scheduled to be hosted again by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach, CA, from September 13-15. Click on the link below to register or, if you “thinking about going” and are on the fence, send an email to Event Chair Ed Feo at


Housing information



Tyler Moore of Rondar USA has three like-new Vipers ready to sail.

Three Vipers (see listings below) previously owned by and lightly sailed by the Club Nautico de Palma in the Med are now at Tyler Moore’s warehouse in Hampton, VA awaiting new owners. Brand new boats can also be ordered through Tyler as Rondar has build slots available for this year.

Interested? Call Tyler today at (757) 897-2127 or email him at

Here are the boats he has available:

Viper 275 – $27,500

Viper 308 – $32,500

Viper 311 – $32,500


Boat Tip

Here’s an article from the Snake Bytes Wayback Machine

Doing the Twist Was Hip In The 60s, Twisting Halyards In The 10s Isn’t

While the skippers gravitate to their own post-race conversations, crewmembers do the same. One question popping-up repeatedly is “why is the spinnaker so hard to hoist and drop.” There are lots of logical answers, but one reason may be that in taking apart/reassembling the mast sections, the halyards may have become twisted around each other. What’s the solution? Viper Bytes went to Rondar Raceboats’ Paul Young for a solution. Paul submitted the following:

The Viper mast as supplied is rigged at Superspars, and they have a sequence that they rig the halyards in to ensure that they are not twisted when first put in, they can also sight up and down the mast through the end caps to check. 

So if you want to check the halyards, and they are factory fit items, then you can lay the mast down, rotate each half until you think that they should be straight, then remove the head sheave by undoing the single screw in the front of the mast then pull the cap off, and the butt cap by undoing the three machine screws tapped in at the base. (These require a degree of effort to undo usually).

Once you can sight down the mast, separate the two halves, and leave a 6″ gap in the middle then sight along the mast. With the gap in the middle, light can enter and the halyards are relatively easy to see. You may see a twist in either half of the mast or even both in an extreme case. If they are not twisted, then simply reassemble the mast sheave and butt.

If they are twisted then try rotating the relevant half until they are running straight and then reassemble the mast. If they will not untwist, then you will need to strip two out of three halyards out of the affected half of the mast and reeve them through again. My preferred option is to leave the main halyard in and to strip out the jib and spinnaker halyard. 

With the mast down to one halyard, pull it tight and tie each end off so it cannot get anything else twisted around it. 

If the top half is affected, then remove the jib and spinnaker halyard sheaves and use a light wire such as your lower shroud to pass through the sheave hole and down the mast to the split. Tape each halyard on and pull through, then check by sighting up and down the mast that they are now untwisted and reassemble the mast.

If the bottom half is affected simply feed the lower shroud through the relevant exit hole at the base, and up the mast to the split and carry out the same procedure.

Because the mast is in two pieces, this is actually a lot simpler to do than to describe.

Editor’s note: Once you know your halyards are clear, here’s a handy tip to prevent the two sections from twisting again. Take a 3-foot length of webbing material (like hiking strap webbing) and, before you separate the mast sections, tape the ends of the webbing securely to the mast by the split. Then, when you reassemble the mast, if the webbing is straight you’ll know you didn’t Twist Again…like you did last summer.


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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