Viper 640 Snake Bytes - September 30, 2019 - Viper 640 International Class Association

 Snake Bytes
September 30, 2019


Words from a Prez

Regatta results – Worlds/NAs
Regatta results – Lake Champlain Viper Open
The non-sailing side of the Worlds
Upcoming regattas
Class Rules vote recap

Words from the North American Prez

Look out, Miami, here come the Vipers!

For the past decade, every March the Viper 640 Class has made an annual pilgrimage to Miami. Some years there were more boats on the line, and others fewer. 2020 will be a year when we have “more!”

The Bacardi Invitational Regatta will run from Thursday, March 5 through Saturday, March 7. Our friends Mark Pincus and Sara Zanoboni will be running the event again so you are guaranteed world-class hospitality, great racing, and the ability to enjoy the full-on Miami vibe.

We will also be having our Viper Winter Cup the preceding Monday-Tuesday, March 2-3 with the infamous Miami Scorch (a unique blend of racing, imbibing, and Cuban food) on Wednesday, March 4.

For the pre-Bacardi sailing, the Vipers will be hosted by the US Sailing Center Miami (details to come) and during the actual event we will all be hosted by the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club.

Registration will be open soon on Yacht Scoring and if you want any information beforehand, go to or email Sara at

Let’s all mark our calendars, make our travel arrangements and put together our crews for a week of warm-weather Miami sailing next March.

See you there,

Steve Chapman
Viper North American Regional President

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Regatta results:

Marcus Eagan wins Goslings Viper 640 World and
North American Championships

Congratulations to Marcus Eagan, Andrew Eagan, and Jackson Benvenutti (Mandeville, LA) for winning both the Goslings 2019 Viper 640 World Championship and the 2019 Viper 640 North Americans. Hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (Long Beach, CA), the four-day Championship consisted of 13 races in atypical Long Beach conditions – light, 8-10 knots except for the final race on Day 2 and the last two on the final day when winds were mid to high teens. It was a regatta where sailors were faced with a wide range of conditions and those atop the podium had to be capable of dealing with them all.

Read more HERE 



Award Recipients at the Goslings Viper 640 Worlds:

Worlds / North American Championship
First: Marcus Eagan, Andrew Eagan, Jackson Benvenutti
Second: Geoff Ewenson, Ryan Cox, Jon Ziskind
Third: Nick Jerwood, Brian DeVries, Matt Jerwood
Top Corinthian Team: Peter & Rachel Beardsley, Jay Rhame, Simon Karstoft Jensen
Top Woman Skipper: Nancy Griley
Sportsmanship Award: Tim Carter

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Lake Champlain Viper Open is in the Books          

The Viper fleet has returned for a 6th time to the beautiful Lake Champlain for some top notch racing and hospitality. The driving force behind the event, the Hyerstay Family (Dale, Alice, and Jason) has once again rallied eager volunteers at Lake Champlain Yacht Club in Shelburne, VT, to organize perhaps the best ‘grassroots’ regatta in the Class.  From the warm welcome on Friday night from Dale on the lawn in front of the Club, to the amazing hospitality of Club members who put-up the fleet for two nights of the regatta, to the ‘magic’ beverage coolers that seem to always stay full in Vermont, the event is just straight up ‘easy’ to do.  The central location to many Viper teams is just right as well—we had 7 boats from the Marblehead fleet, 5 boats from Canada, 2 from the New York area, 2 locals, and one all the way from Charleston, SC who made the trip for the weekend.

With trees just starting to turn their fall colors on, the fleet got in six races over two days in decidedly tactical conditions.  Day 1, the LCYC race committee got the most racing out of the day as was humanly possible—1 race.  With shifty lake conditions the 3-5 kt. breeze required patience and some heads out of the boat to do well.  Nevertheless, with the race sailed out on the main lake with the sweeping Adirondacks in the background under 70-degree clear skies, there weren’t too many upset to be out on the water.

Day 2 is where the regatta was decided.  Once again setting the fleet up out on the main lake, the breeze that greeted the fleet was a perfect 14 kts.  The sailing battles throughout the fleet were intense. The day was especially close at the top of the fleet, with the top five boats flip flopping positions at almost every rounding.  Consistency from Dave Nickerson, Moise Solomon, and Scott Leming cemented the win.  Their team did a great job of getting off the starting line with speed and maintaining their edge upwind, over the past six years, the Mo’ Grins team has been top-2 in every
Vermont event they’ve sailed!  Second p
lace was decided by one point when all was said and done.  The Wadjet team of Van Sheppard, Tom Miller, and Kevin Schulz managed to maintain just enough gap upwind to stave off downwind advances by the thrid-place boat, Meow, and all 460 lbs of Cole Constantineau, Eleni Asimacopoulos, and Robin Weatherill.

Overall this regatta remains a ‘must-do’ event—it’s consistently easy to do, fun, and the racing is absolutely top notch.  The fleet is already looking forward to next year!

More pix from Vermont HERE.

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Let’s jump back to the Goslings Viper Worlds for a minute. If you weren’t there, you really missed the “big show.” Consider the following:

Goslings was an epic sponsor. Thanks Rinear Coulter for all the swag, the support, the fun, and…the rum!

Every event has an “event chair,” and Alamitos Bay Yacht Club’s Ed “Spot” Spotsky hit the ball out of the park. He and his team provided entertainment, great meals, flags (did someone say Spot likes flags???), and more. Even those of us who have managed some pretty big regattas were impressed by this Herculean effort by the ABYC folks. A special shout-out to Timbo Carter for bring the Class and the Club together again.

In addition, the folks from LiveTiles, another sponsor of these Worlds and the presenting sponsor of the 2020 North Americans were on hand to meet the sailors and enjoy the general Viper vibe.

Sharon Green was “in the house,” and on the water. This award-winning yachting photographer captured the color, flavor, and texture of the Championship from dawn to dusk. Here photos lit-up the event, made our media coverage attractive and memorable. You can vies and purchase her Viper Worlds pix HERE

We raced and the sailing world was watching. The headline was that Marcus, Andrew, and Jackson took home the trophies. The backstory, however, was that while we all were competing, the sailing world was watching via social media. During the Worlds, the Viper Facebook page generated over 75,000 engagements, and the many videos posted (including streaming Facebook Live race coverage) generated over 65,000 views. That’s more sailor engagements than reported for all the rest of the major sailing media outlets combined! Thanks go to the Viper media team of Mary Ewenson, Buttons Padin, Dan Tucker and Fletcher Boland. You can loop back to this great coverage, photos and videos at

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Following on from the April meeting of the full Builders Committee, Paul Young provided an update to the committee in September via conference call. The key take-aways were:

  1. Paul is writing a letter to all Viper owner members setting out a path forward for logistics and delivery for US customers.
  2. Going forward, spares and replacement parts will be handled by Tyler Moore, Rondar USA. Working out of his facility in Virginia, and now ably assisted by Viper sailor Henry Amthor, Tyler will be your contact for ordering parts and the conduit through which they are sent to owners. Tyler and Henry have direct access to suppliers, shortening the supply chain to the US.
  3. Individual new boats will be shipped to North America on Roll-on/Roll-off ships on their trailers rather than in containers. Boats can be built and delivered on an as-ordered basis rather than waiting for four boats to be ordered/completed before shipping.  Group orders can still be delivered via container.

The Builder’s Committee is encouraged by these Rondar Operational changes and owners should look for a follow-up message in the next week.


WLIS Circuit #5: Larchmont Fall Finale

September 29 (no longer a 2-day event)
Information HERE.  

Hampton YC Viper Day

Hampton Yacht Club, Hampton Bays, VA
October 20
Information HERE

WLIS Circuit #6: Noroton Viper Open

October 19-20
Noroton Yacht Club, Darien, CT
Information HERE

Charleston Fall Sport Boat Challenge –


October 26-27
James Island Yacht Club, Charleston, SC
Information HERE.  

If you have never experienced Charleston in the fall, you are in for a treat!  Temps in the 80s, awesome sea breeze every day and water is still warm! The regatta will be a two-day planing-fest with VX-Ones and Viper 640s.

Hosted James Island Yacht Club with arguably the most beautiful view of Charleston harbor, ample boat yard and lot space, very easy access to the racing area, and both hoist and ramp facilities for launching.

As sailing comes to an end up north, things will be just heating up in the south!

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Leading up to the Annual General Meeting at the Worlds, the Class membership voted on five changes to the Class Rules and a number of amendments to the Class Bylaws. The Rules proposals addressed:

  1. Coaching on the water in sanctioned regattas
  2. Clarification of standing rigging options
  3. Allowing Aramid fibers to mainsails
  4. Permanent bow numbers
  5. Aft mainsheet attachment options

All five proposals received enough votes to pass and will become effective at different dates in 2020. These proposals also have to be ratified by World Sailing before them become official Class Rules.

To read an overview of each Rule change, see the vote tally for each, and also see the approved changes to the Bylaws, click HERE


    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