Viper 640 Snake Bytes - December 15, 2022 - Viper 640 International Class Association

 Snake Bytes
December 15, 2022


Jay Rhame and Peter Beardsley win SYC Viper 640 Winter Series #1

The 2022-23 Winter Series is being sailed in New Orleans to help get everyone positioned for the 2023 Worlds.  There’s something to be said for learning about the venue in advance of a major event, and in the case of extended time in New Orleans, acclimating yourself to the local social scene. This can be particularly helpful so that you get out of your system all of the rookie tourist moves prior to the main event.

That being said, those rookie tourist moves were in full force in the French Quarter for large portions of the SYC Winter Series #1 out-of-town guests. They enjoyed live music on Frenchman Street, crashed weddings, picked beads off the street on Bourbon Street, and discovered how many Hurricanes it takes to feel fuzzy in the morning.  And of course, it’s a great excuse to sail in warmer weather, with competitors donning shorts in the 70-degree sun on Lake Pontchartrain on Saturday.



The scratch sheet continues to hover in the 30-boat range, but it is expected that many of you fence sitters will climb down in the near future and register to sail. The Viper Worlds only happens every couple of years, and they may not be on back in the US for a while. Register and come sail.

You: But it’s going to be so competitive I’ll get my butt kicked!
Steve Chapman: With world championships, it’s just as important that you were there sailing as where you finished. Come and sail and click off one of those boxes on your bucket list.

You: But I can’t get my boat to New Orleans.
Mamsie Manard (Event chair): There are some really good boats in the NOLA vicinity that are available for charter for next to nothing. Pack-up your good sails, get a plane ticket, and come sail.

You: But I don’t have crew.  Waaah, Waaah, Waah!
Buttons Padin: Go to the Viper Forum and tell people that 1) you’re looking for crew or 2) you’re available to crew for someone else. If you put together a crew, we’ll find you a boat.

You (today): Is this really a regatta I should be doing?
You (ten years in the future): Knucklehead, for how many years are you going to kick yourself for not sailing in the 2023 Viper Worlds?

The word on the street is that Airbnb’s are getting gobbled up so, if you’re looking to rent one during the Worlds, now is the time to make your reservation.

Note for your banker: Entry fees go up $100 on January 22. Don’t wait and miss that deadline. Register now, help promote the Worlds, and make sure you save the C-note.

Dates: March 26-31, 2022

Information and registration



Due to scheduling conflicts combined with the proximity of the Women’s Worlds immediately preceding the Allstate Sugar Bowl 2022 Viper 640 Worlds Championship, the Women’s event failed to get the traction it needed to make it a viable World Championship. Coming out of that decision, however, the Class’s International Board continues to be committed to promoting women’s events within the class…as well as youth events. The current plan is to proceed with the youth event renaming it the Viper 640 U-23 Youth Championship with the expectation we will be able to attract enough younger sailors from the GYA. Note: The Class has designated the top age for this youth event to be “not having turned 23 by the first day of the event.

Youth U-23 Championship – March 24-26 – Info and registration


SYC Winter Series – 2, 3, and 4.

Three more weekends of Winter Series are planned in New Orleans before the Worlds in March. If you can get your boat there, please register now. If you can’t get your boat there, there are charter and loaner boats available and a crew bank is posted on the Forum where you can find others looking to sail and perhaps create your own ad-hoc team.

Winter Series Schedule

#2 – January 7-8Info and registration

#3 – February 4-5Info and registration

#4 – March 4-5Info and registration



Only three days after the completion of the Viper North American Championship at Gulfport Yacht Club, a fleet of Vipers were moved to Bay Waveland Yacht Club where that club hosted The US Sailing Adult Championship for the Mallory Cup. This is the first time Vipers were used as the platform for a US Sailing championship.

Despite unfavorable racing conditions, BWYC Commodore and Principal Race Officer Clinton Edwards, along with his Race Committee team, managed to run all nine scheduled races of the event. The sailors and race officials fought against tornado warnings, rain, sunshine, heavy breeze with gusts around 20 knots, shifty wind directions, low tide, strong currents, and total lack of breeze throughout the 4-day event. 

Jackson Benvenutti from the host club, with his team of Andrew Eagan and Chris Alexander, continued their winning streak from the NAs and won the Mallory. However, it wasn’t a cake walk. They had to battle back-and-forth at the top of the fleet for the first three days before pulling comfortably ahead on the last day of the event to take home the trophy. Viper sailors Zak Fanberg, Sarah Taylor, and Eugene Schmitt, also from BWYC, bested the rest of the fleet to finish second. Mike Holt, 505 world champion, finished in third place. Other Viper regulars competing for the Mallory were Ed Feo (Alamitos Bay, CA), Nick Atterbury (Santa Barbara, CA), and Nick Amendola (Sarasota, FL).

Class veterans loaned private boats and gear to the event, including but not limited to, Peter and Rachel Beardsley, John Dane, Zak Fanberg, Jackson Benvenutti, Paul, Karl, Ken, and Amy Kleinschrodt, Lee Eikel, GYC & Sam Vasquez, PCYC, BWYC, and Pontchartrain YC.



Chris Alexander, Andrew Eagan, and Jackson Benvenutti.

Long-time Viperer Nick Amendola at the helm.


Reported by Zak Fanberg

As someone who competed in both events (NAs and Mallory), I think it was amazing how different the events were in terms of weather and conditions. The NAs enjoyed damn near perfect weather. Maybe a little light at times, but very nice, consistent, not a ton of shifts…maybe a little boring in that regard but competition was top notch and any little mistake cost you big time.

The Mallory’s were the opposite. We had a little bit of everything all week with the final day being absolutely bonkers with a dying northerly fighting a sea breeze all day. 45+ degree shifts with huge velocity changes. As a Viper owner, it was cool to sail on other boats and see the different set ups. Our team took a lot of notes and plan on implementing some of these rigging tricks on our boat for the SYB Winter Series and Worlds.

My final thought: Losing to Jackson is getting old….


Zak and Eugene being out hiked by Sarah!


For 2023, there will be a different dues structure for the Viper 640 International Class Association. It is as follows:

  • Everyone will be charged a $25 International Class membership fee for 2023. If you live outside North America, that’s all you will be billed in January.
  • North American Viper owners will be charged the International fee plus the standard $55 for a total of $80. For those that grumble about a NA dues increase, this is the first time in over a decade when Viper dues have increased.

Around the first of the year, look for an invoice from Wild Apricot and, if you’re as savvy off the water as you are on, you’ll opt for auto renewal payments going forward. And if you have a dues question, reach out to Class Administrator Buttons Padin.



    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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