Viper 640 North Americans - Let the trash talking begin

I was driving from Rye to Norwalk today and passed a dozen Vipers on their way to Larchmont.

53 boats registered as of this morning. Brad Boston and Jackpot sent an email inviting boats to come out for a tuning session today. The regatta starts on Thursday.

Mambo Kings have had very little time on the water this summer (aside from an epic trip to the Viper European Championships on Lake Garda) so this will be tough but fun.

Who is hot?

Who is not?

There were 39 Vipers at the HPDO last week end so there is a form guide. But this is a very tough field.

Brad Boston, Curtis Florence, Luke Lawrence (no introduction needed to long time anarchists)

Zeke Horowitz, Brendan Healey and Ian Coleman (Ouch! - young, pros in other classes and here to have fun )

Dave Chapman (Aus) and Ian Nicholson (UK) Too many national champs to list.

Lawrence Crispin (UK and previous Laser World Champion), Hector Cisneros (Mirror World Champion) and Luka Lawrence (better than both of them)

Cardwell Potts and Ted Ferrarone (Pride of the Big Easy)

Dave Nickerson and Moise Solomon (When the going get light, the crafty get going)

Andy Kaplan and Barry Parkin ( Andy is fast in his own right, now he has two time brit Olympian and experienced Viper helm Barry on board. Dangerous and volatile combo)

Michelle, Vanessa and Nicky : (Cummon, you got to root for the gals from Sarasota. They crushed the party at Miami earlier this year by chartering a vintage power yacht for their team base, tying up at the dock and serving whisky swizzles straight after racing.)

Tom Loutrel, + Karl and Tom (They will be contenders. From Charleston and always shaking things up)

Andy Weiss and Team Dragon Fire: They caught everyone's attention by scoring six fifth place finishes in a row from race 3 thru 8. If they had made the start of race 1 and had their shit together for race 2.......they would have ben on the podium, In good a form as anyone has seen them.

Tyler Moore : 505 NA champion. He has been sailing Vipers A LOT in the last two years. Smart and fast.

Peter Beardsley and the Pandas : Peter has been on the podium on most Viper regattas on LIS. His preparation wlll be comprehensive...BUT he is also regatta chair.

Plenty of others to watch out for....Jay Rhame, Gabe Jostrom, Joe Healey, Olaf Bleck (sheer entertainment...he sold his night club business in Boston and bought a gold mine in California. Something unexpected will happen with Olaf in the fleet- it always does!)

Bring it on!

Who does Clean rate?

We'll try and keep you y'all posted



We don't bother posting separate Corinthian scores since 90% of the teams are 100% Corinthian. Will be a great fleet and tough racing against a lot of friends.

Man you Viper guys look and play the part. I don't have the money for a competitive boat, but if I did, it would be a Viper for sure. If there was a class i would wish to become a staple, I think the Viper would be it.



Super Anarchist
predict the winners will be those who close the bars down every night, sail all day with old friends in the perfect weathet, laugh ( and cry ) and do it again the next day. Viperers are epic

Actually, Clean jumped into a the helm of a Viper for the 2008 Viper NAs with long time anarchist Simon Strauss calling tactics. Against a tough fleet he tied on points for third, losing the tie breaker to finish fourth. Admittedly, a very good tactician telling him where to go but Clean showed he actually knows how to point a boat.

The list of things that Clean doesn't do well is too long to list here, and he is the first to admit that he ain't much of a journalist but he can sail a boat.

Regarding Pros?

Every boat has to sign a waiver declaring that no member of the crew is being paid to sail. This is accompanied by a full ISAF definition of "paid" + a clear explanation of the consequences to the skipper and the crew if the waiver is false. No half way decent professional sailor is going to risk a one year ban from making his living simply to sail in the Viper NAs.

The simple truth is that folks don't get paid for sailing in the Viper NAs.

Category 3 sailors can and do own or sail on a Viper for their recreational sailing. It is a whole different thing when you are sailing for fun versus sailing for compensation. They are fun to sail against and they are having fun sailing against us without the pressure of having to justify their wage. But most of the really good sailors in this fleet are simply exceptionally talented amateur sailors. Lawrence Crispin has never been a pro sailor. He might be good enough but he chose to make sailing his hobby and earn a living somewhere else. Same with Barry, Cardwell, Danny Tom etc etc. Viper = some of the best amateur sailors around.......and the good news is... that anyone can call a shift right or gybe for the puff because a Viper is the great equalizer.

Today was breezy with plenty of variable puffs and shifts to keep everyone on their toes.

Plenty of long big planning surfs downwind.

Upwind, the leaders were choosing the right shifts to get across the course. Downwind finding big pressure lines to plane deep created all kinds of opportunities for gains and losses.

Brad Boston's team and Dave Chapman/Ian Nicholson were the most consistent in the leading pack on the day. Brad moved up from 3rd to regatta leader. Dave Chapman has moved up to third. Of yesterday's leaders, Dave Nickerson and Moise Solomon were the only other boat from yesterdays leaders to avoid double digit finishes and have moved up to second. Tom Loutrel looked fast all day and so did Cardwell Potts.

Sadly Mambo Kings broke a rudder gudgeon approaching the windward mark. We sailed through the triangle of death on port tack with no rudder and emerged unscathed. It turns out that you can sail a Viper in a relatively straight line in big breeze without a rudder.....but you cannot tack. Big thank you to the Canadian Viperers with the bright green rashguards who offered assistance.... we hailed that we were okay but it was a very sportsmanlike gesture. We were towed home by the rescue launch, wondering where on earth we could possibly find parts for an 18 year old boat on a Friday evening. Frankly I thought our regatta was over. We arrived at the dock, to a warm welcome from LYC's dock staff who had been radio'd ahead by the rescue boat and had our trailer ready and waiting for us by the hoist. Damn nice touch and a well earned shout out to Waterfront Director Parker and all his crew who are maneuvering 53 Vipers and trailers to and from the hoists with ease.

Anyway , I guess the word got out to the fleet via texts and word of mouth because 2 hours after the fleet docked, I was sitting by my boat with a spare gudgeon , a repaired pintel, and a loaner rudder. Thank you to Peter Broszkowski, Peter Beardsley, ...huge thank you to Patrick Slattery for conjuring up a rudder and also thank you to Jeff Hankins uncle who is a boat builder in Maine. We texted him pictures of the damaged pintel and rec'd repair instructions in return! So we will be sailing tomorrow.

The conditions were awesome Viper sailing today.

Full on!

We have just got back from the club.

Loudest applause over dinner was for Pauline Dowell. Pauline came second in the 2014 Blind Sailing National Championships. After a slow start at the Blind NAs, she nailed 5 bullets in the last 5 races. Her "sighted crew" , kay Van valkenburgh was obviously impressed because he invited her to sail with team Lo Qi in the Viper North Americans.

When Buttons Padin introduced Pauline as the first and we certainly hope not the last blind competitor at a viper North Americans, the applause was....ahem....sustained.

This was hard big breeze sailing today and the racing was fast, furious and close. I personally am in awe of Pauline as a sailor. Can we nominate her as SCOW?