Keep It Affordable, Keep It Fun

Published on October 21st, 2015

The Viper 640 class just recorded its largest North American Championship, and largest regatta in Class history, when 53 teams competed for the title on October 15-18 in Larchmont, NY. Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck checks in with winner Brad Boston:

When did you get into the Viper class?
We first chartered a Viper for Charleston Race Week in 2008 to see how we liked the boat. We had so much fun that on the way home we ordered a boat!

Is it true that this is your fifth NA title?

Yes I have been fortunate to win 5 times but they have never been easy.

What sets the Viper class apart?
The Viper class is all set up for people to spend less money but sail a really fun boat. I think it is a more relaxed class and people seem to have a lot of fun on and off the water.

Anything specific about the boat that you like?

I like the 3 to 4 person boats, and the Viper is really fast and affordable. Along with my partners Lee and Eric, we really like this size boat (21-feet) and the venues that the class chooses for regattas.

How would you describe the boat?
The Viper is a responsive, fast, easy-to-sail sport boat, and if you practice in lots of wind, you should never wipe out.

Tell me about the organization at the North Americans.

Larchmont Yacht Club and the Viper owners there did a perfect job attracting 53 boats to the regatta. They had a great race committee and support staff assisting boats in and out of the water. The social package had things every night with scheduled debriefs for all sailors to learn new tricks. They really made it fun for all!

What proved to be the keys to your victory?

I like to think that our sails are really fast (Brad works at Doyle Boston Sails) but I am fortunate to sail with really good friends that are really good sailors. This year it was Luke Lawrence and Curtis Florence. If anyone has the ability to sail with these guys they really should jump at the opportunity! They are awesome sailors and great people. The one thing that we really do well on our program is have a lot of FUN on and off the water from the time we wake up until we fall asleep.

Can you explain how the class pro rule works?
The class rule says NO PAID PROS. Pros are not restricted from sailing in the class, but none can be paid; the rule strives to keep the sailing expenses down for people. This rule is both good and bad. The bad part is the class does not have pros pushing their clients to buy a Viper because they cannot get the work in the class. However, the plus is pros sail the boat because they enjoy it!

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