This year marks the 20th anniversary of the design of the Viper 640 and the 10th anniversary of the relaunch of the Class Association. The Viper 640 is now a truly international class, with active fleets in seven nations across three continents.
The world’s best Viper 640 sailors will be competing in Bermuda for the The Aspen Viper 640 International Championship presented by EFG in November. © Allen Clark/PhotoBoat.com
The Class Association is celebrating these milestones by hosting the first Viper 640 International Championship – The Aspen Viper 640 International Championship presented by EFG, with sailors competing for a prestigious new trophy open to Viper teams from around the world.
The International Championship will be hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club on Bermuda’s Great Sound November 16-19, 2016 preceded by a warm-up regatta November 13-14. More than 50 Viper 640s are already registered with teams coming from North America, Europe and Australia, this will be the largest one-design keelboat regatta ever hosted in Bermuda.
Combining the stiffness of a keelboat with the acceleration and planing abilities of a dinghy, the 21-foot Viper 640 was originally designed and built in 1996. With a goal of reinvigorating amateur one-design sailing with a fast, fun, easy-to-sail and affordable sportboat, the class was relaunched in the U.S. in 2006 with a new, self-governing Viper 640 Class Association and a new builder (Rondar Raceboats in the UK).
The Aspen Viper 640 International Championship presented by EFG will be held concurrently with the 20th Anniversary North American Championship. The overall winner will be crowned as the first Viper 640 International Champion, and the highest-placing North American team will receive the Class’s coveted North American Championship trophy.
“Hosting the Viper 640 International Championship in Bermuda is a perfect fit,” said 2016 International Championship Chair Doug De Couto. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club immediate Past Commodore Somers Kempe added, “With the America’s Cup to be sailed in these same waters in 2017, the sailing world’s eyes are on Bermuda. We are the newest national fleet in the Viper 640 Class and we intend to throw a memorable competition and even more memorable parties.”
© Tom Clarke
The partnership of Aspen and the Viper Class reflects the strong presence of both the insurance and reinsurance industries on Bermuda combined with the growing popularity of the Viper amongst Bermudian sailors. Mike Cain, Chief Executive Officer for Aspen Bermuda Limited, noted, “For Aspen to be able to support such a high-visibility yachting event in a part of the world where our company enjoys such a strong franchise makes perfect sense. This partnership provides Aspen with the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the country that has been so gracious to our company while also allowing us to acknowledge Bermuda’s long-standing sailing heritage.”
Somers Kempe, Immediate Past Commodore of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and regatta co-chair added, “Aspen has become a leading member of the Bermudian business community and this partnership is showing all Bermudians…and yacht racers…the generosity and outreach of the company.”
Douglas DeCouto, Regatta Co-Chair, went on to note that, “With the support of both Aspen and EFG, this regatta is being made possible by two international financial institutions, each with major presences on Bermuda, whose global footprints reflect the ongoing growth of the Viper 640 Class around the world.”
In addition to Aspen Insurance and EFG, the event Host Sponsor is the Bermuda Tourism Authority. Shipping sponsors include the Bermuda Container Line, Bermuda International Shipping Ltd, Somers Isles Shipping Ltd, and Bermuda Forwarders. Supporting Sponsors include Goslings, Gubinelli Wine, Oleander Cycles, Newstead Belmont Hills, and Island Construction. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit viper640.org or contact Viper 640 Class Association Administrator Ed “Buttons” Padin at email@example.com. Anyone interested in chartering or purchasing a Viper in Bermuda should contact Rondar Raceboats’ Dan Tucker at Dan@rondarboats.com. For more information about the The Aspen Viper 640 International Championship presented by EFG, contact event chair Doug De Couto at firstname.lastname@example.org or Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore Somers Kempe at email@example.com.