Zeke Horowitz Wins Sarasota Viper Winter Series Opener

Published on December 13th, 2015

The 2015-16 Sarasota Viper Winter Series kicked off on December 12-13 with 23 teams competing in the 8-race event, the first of three that will be held in Sarasota, FL.

Day one of the Winter Series started with sunny skies, 80-degree weather and 8-10 knots of breeze from the east, with plenty of shifts to see teams go from zero to hero and back again. After one abandoned start, Danny Pletsch and crew took the first bullet in a race that saw teams able to work both sides of the course as the breeze settled in.

The remaining three races of the day saw the breeze peaking in the low teens with some full hiking moments, and a few quick rides downhill. Zeke Horowitz picked up wins in the second and third race and Danny Pletsch took the final race to end the day in the lead with seven points, with Horowitz having nine points and Peter Beardsley with ten points. The balance of the fleet had some great racing with lots of gains and losses in the up and down breeze.

Day two got underway with a 10 a.m. start sequence with the breeze in 10-12 knot range from the northeast. Danny Pletsch came out of the blocks quick again and took race one. By the second race the breeze was on and the crews dialed on rig tension as the conditions turned to “max fun” mode with full hiking uphill and full blast planning down wind.

With gusts coming up towards 20 knots and the Sarasota Bay water temps still well above 70 degrees, it was a great day to be on the water. Zeke Horowitz and crew had a stellar day, adding only seven points to their score line and, after discarding a fourth from Saturday, they took the event top honors with twelve points. Danny Pletsch was a close second at fifteen points. The top five was rounded out by Peter Beardsley, Lee Shuckerow and Henry Amthor.

The second event of the three event Sarasota Viper Winter Series with be January 9-10 and currently has 28 teams registered with 30 boats on the line being a strong possibility. The final leg of the Sarasota Series will be sailed February 6-7. Teams in the Winter Series can discard their worst 35% of scores, so missing a single event does not preclude teams from winning the overall title for those who decide late to avoid the winter blues and race with their friends in Florida.

The Sarasota Sailing Squadron’s Winter Viper Series represents the first three components of a five-event Viper Florida Winter Circuit. Sailing in Sarasota will be followed by, the EFG Winter Cup in Miami March 5-6, and the EFG Viper Pan-American Championship sailed as part of Bacardi Miami Sailing Week from March 11-13. It should be noted that Vipers from across the U.S. and Canada were in Sarasota last weekend and even more are expected in Miami in March.

Results and registration for Sarasota Viper Winter Series: www.regattanetwork.com/event/11371

Information and registration for EFG Winter Cup: www.viper640.org/events/efg-winter-cup-2/

Information and registration for Bacardi Miami Race Week: yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1548

Source: Edward Padin, Viper 640 Class Administrator

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