Sarasota Sailing Squadron
Viper 640 Winter Series #1
December 9-10, 2023
NEWS FLASH – SSS has expanded registration to 25 boats for January and February so there’s now room for you!!!
Sarasota Viper sailing is back and in epic form! The Sarasota Sailing Squadron was super excited to host the Viper 640 Winter Series again and the southwest Florida weather came thru in a huge way. Keven Eiber and Ed Furry teamed up on the PRO/Race management duties and utilized the MarkSetBots to perfection, running nine great races for the fleet. Under full sun with temps in the mid 80’s on Saturday, five races were run in 10-13kts, with the breeze moving from SE to SW over the time the fleet was out. Sunday saw a fresh 14-19kts (and fun gusts) with a solid and warm southerly for the final four races.
Reigning North American Champ Jimmy Praley and team Robot Flamingo locked down the top of leaderboard with 7 bullets! Showing they are human, they threw out an 8th! Team Beardsley/Rhame on Glory Days were locked in a solid 2nd and had two bullets. Travis Yates and Team Sidewinder took the last place on the podium after a long hiatus from the Viper circuit.
Other highlights of the weekend included a packed full bar at SSS Friday night, with a return of our favorite Viper driver/bartender/soon to be a renewed SSS member Cole “The Cat Whisperer” Constantineau, and the Saturday night Sarasota Holiday Lighted Boat Parade. Taking place just before the traditional Class debrief on Saturday, Mary Ewenson provided a hugely moving moment with the presentation of a very sizable grant donation by the EWE Spirit Foundation (www.ewespirit.org) to a local charity Sarasota called Mothers Helping Mothers (www.mhmsarasota.com) on behalf of the Viper 640 Class and the Sarasota Sailing Squadron.
Team Robot Flamingo with Ed Furry
Team Sidewinder with Ed Furry
Team Glory Days was already on a plane at awards flying into a weather maelstrom.
Editor’s Note: This last point says a lot. There are many good boats being sailed today, but what makes the Viper 640 Class stand out is the people who sail them.
Thanks, Vlad Kulinichenko for the photos and video.