Viper 640 Winter Series Lives Up To Its Name

Published on January 8th, 2017

The second event of the Viper 640 Winter Series (January 7-8) got off to a slow start as winter weather proved an obstacle en route to Sarasota Sailing Squadron in Sarasota, FL. With storm warnings and snow that reached as far south as the Gulf Coast, a reduced fleet of 14 teams would eventually reach the start line for what would be a three race event.

The Viper 640 team of Great Scott from Larchmont (NY) Yacht Club (Jay Rhame, Peter and Rachael Beardsley, and Parker Mitchell) put up a solid score line of 1,2,1 to win the event followed by two host Sarasota Sailing Squadron teams wearing every bit of cold weather gear they own.

In second was Sidewinder, driven by Travis Yates with a 3,1,3, and Coming In Hot driven by Michelle Lee with a 2,5,2. This was Michelle’s first trip to the podium as skipper. The Buccaneer Yacht Club’s GYA team on Danger Noodle skippered by Mobile, AL’s Ken Kleinschrodt won a tie-breaker for fourth with Sarasota’s Nick Amendola and his crew on Entourage.

Saturday morning 24 teams managed to get checked in and prepped for sailing only to see the breeze climb up to high 20’s with gusts into the low 30’s while the temperature went from high 60’s to low 50’s. After a couple shore-side postponements, the RC finally called off Day 1 racing as the breeze came on and the front moved through.

The staff at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron shifted the dinner plans forward and fifty minutes after the cancellation the keg was tapped and dinner was served steaming hot as a late lunch and the fleet enjoyed some time by the fireplace. Yes, amazingly enough, there is a fantastic fireplace in the clubhouse for the odd occasion where it gets cold down here…like below 55 degrees!

Sunday saw clear blue skies and great breeze in the 14-20 kts range…with a temperature at dock out around 40 degrees. With a number of far north teams calling it “still warm out, wonderful weather,” the fleet headed out for three solid races. The breeze stayed from the northeast and there were a couple periods where it got into the solid 20 range, to keep the adrenaline and the teams at least feeling warm.

The next Sarasota Viper Winter Series event is Feb 4-5 with a North Sails Viper Tuning and Sailing Clinic hosted by Zeke Horowitz at The Sarasota Sailing Squadron on Friday Feb 3. Thirty one boats are registered with several more New England and GYA teams looking to add to event as they confirm their participation in Miami Bacardi Race Week in March and Charleston Race Week following that.


2016-17 Sarasota Viper Winter Series
Event #1 – December 16-17
Event #2 – January 7-8
Event #3 – February 4-5

Notice of Race:

Source: Viper 640 class

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