Zagol wins Viper 640 North Americans
Published on October 10th, 2021
Darien, CT (October 10, 2021) – The final day of racing at the 2021 Viper 640 World Championship was cancelled due to excessive wind, with overnight leader Mark Zagol with crew Tim Desmond and Drew Buttner taking the title by 11 points over Jay Rhame in second with Cardwell Potts two point back in third.
Racing was held October 7-10.
Final Results (Top 10 of 37; 7 races, 1 discard)
1. Mark Zagol/ Tim Desmond/ Drew Buttner – 4-4-1--2-3-2; 16
2. Jay Rhame/ Peter Beardsley/ Rachel Beardsley – 1-5-2--8-1-10; 27
3. Cardwell Potts/ Ted Ferrarone/ Meredith Killion/ Jennifer Potts – 6-1-4--1-11-6; 29
4. Lee Shuckerow/ Brad Boston/ Eric Vigrass – 9-2-9--3-9-1; 33
5. Max Albert/ Andrew Brennan/ Matthew Dupuy/ Noah Jones – 12-8-5-1--7-8; 41
6. Mary Ewenson/ Austin Powers/ Carl Smit – 5--8-11-5-13-4; 46
7. Bill Vickers/ Jim Lodico/ Tim Williams – 7-3-3-8-10-16-; 47
8. Marek Zaleski/ Chris Zaleski/ Jake Bradt--10-11-5-6-8-9; 49
9. Patrick Ryan/ Norman Vallette/ Mason Ryan – 10-11--7-7-6-12; 53
10. Steve Chapman – 13-7-14-3--2-17; 56
The 2021 championship was a tale of two halves, with light air dominating the first two days before strong winds prevailed for the final two days. Here’s a final report from Viper 640 Class Administrator Ed “Buttons” Padin:
At the end of the second of four days of racing, points leader Mark Zagol said, “Looking at tomorrow, we want to see how we stack-up in the big breeze that is forecast to start tonight. And, of course, we’re looking forward to the down winds.”
Mark got his wish in more ways than one. After two relatively light-air days, the Day 3 forecast called for winds from the east in the high teens with significant gusts and then building to the low-to-mid 20 knot range.
When the competitors arrived at Noroton Yacht Club (Darien, CT), winds were as forecast in the high teens and the overnight easterly had generated steep and close three-to-five-foot breaking wave sets across Long Island Sound. The first planned race of the day, Race 7, got off on time at 1100 as the winds and wave height continued to increase.
Boats were sailing into the current upwind reporting COGs around six knots, but when they turned downwind, the speedos were showing average speeds around 15+ knots with surges well above 17-18 knots…some reporting hitting 20 knots.
Mark Zagol got his wish for some exciting downwind sailing as he finished the race in second behind six-time Viper 640 North American Champion Brad Boston.
It was about the time that Brad and Mark cross the finish line that a particular puff hit the north side of the course simultaneously knocking over four boats that were mid-fleet. With all the available safety resources absorbed in assisting those boats, and with the wind speed and sea state continuing to worsen, PRO Sandy Grosvenor cancelled any further sailing for the day.
The boats returned to shore. It turned out that Race 7 would be the final race of the Championship as the conditions had only worsened for the final day which cancelled further racing.
Being the North American Championship, several other awards were presented.
• The new Geoff Ewenson Memorial Service Award, donated to the Class by Harken Marine and recognizing long-term contributions to the Viper 640 Class, was presented by Mary Ewenson to Peter Beardsley.
• The Viper 640 North American Championship Award for Sportsmanship, donated by the Kleinschrodt Family, was presented to Mary Ewenson for sharing her late husband Geoff’s “11 Rules of Sailing” prepared by the EWE Foundation.
• The Governor’s Cup (top team with helm over 55) went to Bill Vickers, Jim Lodico, and Tim Williams.
• The Jedi Trophy (top performance by a sailor over 70 – helm or crew) went to Buttons Padin.
• The Youngest Sailor award was presented to 11-year-old Thomas Owen sailing with his father David.
• The MVP Award went to Noroton Yacht Club Operations Director Connor Brady.
• And a special recognition award was presented to Event Co-Chair Nancy Pearson for all her contributions in making the event the success it was.
The 2022 Viper 640 North American Championship is scheduled to be hosted by Gulfport (MS) Yacht Club from October 13-17, 2022.