Viper 640 Snake Bytes - June 28, 2022 - Viper 640 International Class Association


 Snake Bytes
June 28, 2022


Lots ‘O News


In today’s Snake Bytes:

Words from the Chair

Class Officer Elections – Rules Change Proposals

North Americans Update

Upcoming Regattas

Regatta Reports

  • Southern Bay Race Week
  • Bayview One-design Regatta
  • Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship
  • Long Beach Race Week – Viper PCCs

2023 Worlds Update

Good Intel – crew placement tips


Vipers show up in the most amazing places. At this year’s Bacardi Invitational Regatta, we were wowed with the enthusiasm and charm of the Italian team of Oriano Lanfanconi and Guilia Puccetti who chartered 182 and sailed with Nicolas Reeves.

We had a great time getting to know Oriano and Guilia and hearing about their sailing adventures in Italy. Next thing you know we see pictures of a Viper sailing (for the first time ever) at the largest inland regatta in the world, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, sailed on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. With over 500 boats at the start this 74-mile race is a real challenge, often with highly variable winds as you sail in the Alps. With their race taking 33 hours, this was a real test of endurance and fortitude sailing in very light airs, finishing 197th of 332 finishers, handicapped under IRC! Well done!

We are hoping to coax teams from Europe, Australia, Bermuda and South Africa to attend the 2023 World Championships in New Orleans in March

The start of the Bol d’Or Mirabaud in Geneva, Switzerland

Rondar has been working hard to build seven Vipers which will be shipped to Canada and the US this summer. Paul Young reports that the new keels look fabulous and the first hull has come out of the new hull mold. Look forward to seeing these new boats (326-333) on the water later this summer. To order a new boat for delivery before the Worlds, get in touch with Tyler Moore for North American orders or Paul Young directly for other countries.


2022 North American Annual General Meeting Is Coming Up


Time to start thinking ahead to the upcoming NA AGM.  Rules changes and nominations need to be submitted in writing 90 days prior to the AGM.  The AGM will be held at the NA’s in Gulfport.  That means the deadline for submission of any changes is July 20.  


Submit Rules Change proposals to Tyler Moore.


See full slate of current Class officers HERE.


Submit North American Class Officer nominations to Peter Ill – Full slate up for reelection 

Also, the Class initiated the Geoff Ewenson Giving Spirit Award last year in honor of long-time contributor, competitor, and friend Geoff Ewenson.  The award’s description reads as follows:  

In honor of Geoff Ewenson, who so openly and warmly helped so many in the class. Awarded to a person anywhere in the world who has made an outstanding sustained contribution to the Viper Class as determined by a selection committee chosen by the IACP and the NACP. The Awardee could be a competitor, someone working on the Class, or someone who is neither but who makes a significant difference in promoting the class and its culture.  Nominations can be made by any class member not later than 60 days prior to the World Championships or the North American Championships being held that year, whichever occurs first.  Can be awarded annually but is not required to be given in any certain year. Trophy is to be presented at the World’s or North American’s, as determined by the selection committee that year.  

Submit Ewenson nominations to Peter Ill.


2022 North Americans Update

Women’s and Youth NAs – October 15-16

North American Championship – October 19-23

Gulfport (MS) Yacht Club

It’s time for you to register for this year’s North American Championship Regattas. The folks at Gulfport Yacht Club, led by Sam Vasquez, have put together a sterling event schedule and these are regattas not to be missed. Talk about Southern Hospitality!

Women’s and Youth – Information and Registration HERE.  8 Vipers already registered

North American Championship – Information and Registration HERE.  21 Vipers already registered

Below are the Booking Links for both groups to begin making reservations. Should sailors wish to stay for the duration, they would need to make 2 separate reservations.

1600 E. Beach Blvd.
Gulfport, MS 39501

Book your group rate for Women’s Youth Viper 640 North American Championship

Book your group rate for Viper 640 North American Championship



July 16, 17, 223, 24 – Larchmont Race Week
Larchmont (NY) Yacht Club
information and Registration HERE.

July 23-24 – Boothbay (ME) Harbor Yacht Regatta and Viper Downeast Cruise + Scorch
Information and Registration HERE.

July 29-31 – Marblehead (MA) Race Week
Boston Yacht Club
Information and Registration HERE.



June 2-5, 2022

Hampton (VA) Yacht Club

Consistency pays off at SBRW

Mark Wheeler, sailing with Charles Brewer and Austin Powers, gave a lesson in consistent sailing during this year’s SBRW. Tossing an eighth, in the nine scored races, Wheeler and crew posted five firsts, three seconds and a seventh for 18 points…a nine-point lead over Justin Morris in second with 27 points and Peter Ill in third with 31 points, one ahead of Henry Amthor.

Henry got off to a fast start and was winning after the first day; however, when Mark turned on the after burners in his VAPOR TRAILS with two bullets on Day 2, the lead changed hands for good. Also sailing an excellent regatta was Justin Morris winning three races and placing second twice.

Mark Wheeler had been close to winning in the past, but this regatta was his going away. It was really fun, close racing and there were lots of weather marks where there were six boats rounding within a boatlength or two.

There was good breeze all three days which is a great omen as Hampton Yacht Club is hosting the Viper ACCs next year.



Bayview One-design Regatta

June 4-5, 2022
Bayview Yacht Club, Detroit, MI

Steve Chapman, sailing with Christophe Ledent and Tom Miller, took the Viper 640 division at this year’s Bayview One-design Regatta with a 2-3-1-1-2 scoreline. With the racing as close as it was, that was enough for Chapman to beat Carson Downing by one point and Brian Johansen by three.

Viper racing on the Great Lakes is just starting to heat-up so check for coming events.


Viper 640 Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship

June 25-26, 2022
Noroton Yacht Club, Darien, CT


Saturday debrief with Grace Howie and Mary Ewenson.

Saturday’s three-race results stand with New Yorkers Grace Howie and Elizabeth Hupp sailing with Louisiana sailors Max Allen and Andrew Brennan winning the Championship with a 1-2-1 scoreline for four points. Howie and crew led at every mark for the two races they won. Grace Howie, reigning Viper 640 North American Champion, had the following to say about their win, “Yesterday the conditions were tough with the light air. Even when we were ahead, we had to look for the pressure and protect our position…bow down going fast.”

In second place were Rachel Beardsley (Shelter Island, NY) and Rachel Rhame (Rumson, NJ) with Peter Beardsley as their third. The Rachels finished with six points after a 3-1-2 performance. Rachel Rhame shared, “Since I became a mom, I’ve lost touch with sailing. This event was great to get it back and be on the water.” Rachel Beardsley noted, “It was great to reconnect with Rachel and also with a fleet full of women. It’s a different vibe and it’s exciting to see more female leadership in the Viper Class and the support of the senior leadership of the Class.

Read more


Ed Feo, Chuck Tripp, and Kevin Taugher win Viper PCCs at LBRW

Having just completed Long Beach Race Week (and Pacific Coast Championships) with Friday’s windspeed of 16-18 knots, and 18-20 on Saturday; both days with chop and steep wave sets, I thought that it would be fun to take a poll of the fleet and ask – “How would you describe sailing a Viper 640 in 18-20 knots of wind in a healthy sea state?” The replies were not exactly what I expected; some quite colorful. In the interest of keeping things sufficiently reader-friendly, the basic response was that sailing upwind was not delightful and too long, and downwind being exhilarating and not nearly long enough!  Sunday’s last day of racing was quite mundane with 5-7 knots in the first race, with 12-14 knot build in the final race which was welcome to many aching legs, arms, and backs. All in all, a chamber commerce kind of weekend for Long Beach, CA!

Read more



Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans, LA, will be rolling out the red carpet for the Viper Class March 27-31, 2023. Register soon to sail in the Class’s biggest international regatta being sailed on Lake Pontchartrain. Enjoy the racing, enjoy your fellow Viperers, and enjoy the lay day in historic New Orleans.

Registration will be open shortly. Look for more information shortly and the NoR to be published around July 1.


Viper Crew Placement

Contributed in 2019 by Phil Lotz, former owner of Viper 640 #155


Our experience of sailing 155 over the years is that crew placement has a big impact on performance. Although everyone sails at slightly different crew weights, I believe the following general principles apply to placing crew in a Viper 640:

Light air up-wind (crew to leeward) – Crew should sit as far forward as possible, down low and to leeward. It is not unusual for the skipper to sit in the boat on the floor towards the middle weather side forward of the main sheet. As the breeze comes up, the middle crew moves to weather and forward. Skipper is always as far forward as possible.

Light air downwind (crew to leeward up wind) – Forward crew sits on leeward side of forward deck; middle is middle on floor near shroud just enough to see chute; skipper is middle down on floor, forward of main sheet.

Medium breeze up-wind (now all three crew just on weather side, full power in sail plan) – Still concentrate on sitting as far forward as possible in flat water. Forward crew to weather but on deck in front of shrouds; middle and skipper move forward. Possibly move back (forward crew moves back a bit from shrouds) in more chop. As breeze increases and go to “full” hike, forward crew moves to full hike position which is about 4 to 6 inches behind shrouds. Crew should always sit tight side-by-side, but especially in chop.

Medium breeze downwind (now all three crew just on weather side, full power in sail plan) – Forward crew sits on deck, forward of the mast, balancing the boat by moving side to side. Middle crew on weather side, and skipper on weather side. Middle should be forward near shrouds and skipper next to him.

Heavy breeze up-wind (all three crew full hike; depowering sail plan) – Crew should be sitting tight together. If flat water, the forward crew should be 4 to 6 inches from shrouds. If lumpy wave conditions, move back a bit—possibly one body width or more between forward crew and shrouds. Middle and skipper tight right behind forward crew.

Heavy breeze downwind (all three crew full hike; depowering sail plan) – Forward crew is sitting either in front of or just behind shroud depending on the need to flat-out hike. If in a more VMG downwind wave and wind pattern, forward crew sits forward of shroud. If in a more flat water planning mode then forward crew sits behind the shroud so easier to flat out hike. Middle and skipper sit close to upwind positions or a bit further forward depending on where forward crew is placed.

Generally, we believe it is good to stay “weight forward” in a Viper.


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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