The first two days of the 2022 Viper 640 North American Championhsip were the property of Jackson Benvenutti, Andrew Eagan, and Chris Alexander who strung together a series of seven first place wins. However, Day 3 was all Mark Zagol, Tim Desmond, and Drew Buttner. These three delivered a 1-5-1-1 scoreline today, moving them into second (and the top Corinthian team) with 38 points. Jackson and crew still command a serious lead with 14 points after a 4-1-4-2 day making their drop a 4th. Falling a position into third were Marek and Chris Zaleski sailing with Jacob Bradt aboard. Marek’s 11th in today’s final race hurt as it replaces their previous drop of a 6th. In fourth with 43 points are Jay Rhame and Rachel & Peter Beardsley with a solid 2-2-7-6 day. With five points separating second and fourth, with the fifth-place boat standings at 67 points, the real question is who will end-up on the podium tomorrow afternoon.
Zagol is one of those sailors who gravitates towards pin-end starts. He continued that trend today, winning the pin in three of the four races, hitting the left corner on all upwind legs and then sailing the long starboard tack downwind for one-gybe runs.
Today was also a different day from a weather perspective. The first race was sailed in 4-5 knot, but around noon the wind shifted 20 degrees right and quickly built to 9-12 knots. This gave the Viper 640s the opportunity to plane downwind showing that they are true sport boats.
As noted, Zagol’s is the top Corinthian team after 11 races followed by the Rhame/Beardsley boat and then local sailors Sam Hopkins, Hugh Hawkins, and Anderson Wolford. Hopkins (in 5th overall) is also the top placing master after three days, followed by Peter Ill (11th overall) and Mark Wheeler (14th overall).
Racing concludes tomorrow with the first warning at 1100. The plan is to sail another three races.