by Richard Crockett
Three Gauteng-based teams are competing in the 2nd international Viper 640 World Championships in Long Beach, California.
The Viper 640 is a new class to South Africa, with 4 boats imported last year by Alex Schon, and predominantly sailed on the Vaal Dam, although their owners do make forays into KZN and Cape waters.
With 3 races already completed, it’s clear that the RSA contingent are rusty, and need time in their new steeds in big fleets as they are all in the bottom half of the fleet. But with just 1 day sailed so far, anything and everything is still possible from them.
RSA Results (41 boats)
28 Rob Edward; Alex Schon; Marco Seitz & Jeff Lindon 29; 32; 22
32 Nevan Lucas; Steven Haywood; Yolanda van der Vyver 35; 26; 32
35 Richard Wiederhold; Greg Plunkett; Charlene McCulloch; Alex Wickrheld 36; 29; 37
About the Viper 640
The Viper 640 is a two to four person, high performance, one-design sports boat. At 6,4 metres long and weighing only 340 kg the craft displays the steadiness of a keelboat with the acceleration and planing abilities of a dinghy. The relatively affordable cost coupled with high-performance sailing on the most comfortable boat in its class, makes the Viper an achievable option for most sailing enthusiasts. The ideal combined crew weight is between 230 and 275kgs.
Raced to one-design class rules, the boat delivers a precise and exhilarating feel on the helm from the spacious 3-person cockpit. The sturdy carbon mast and wide cockpit, combines into speedy and secure sailing in a big breeze.
The Viper can be towed by a medium size vehicle and manoeuvres easily on land. Launching and recovery is simple down a slipway or shoreline and requires only 60cm of water to float the boat off or on to the trailer. The mast splits into two pieces. Rigging can be accomplished by 2 people in minutes (approximately 40) rather than hours.
Viper 640 is a recognised world sailing international class .