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The Vipers are coming to Auckland! The Viper Asia Pacific regatta is going to be held in Auckland Easter 2014. The Aussie are keen to come and find out what real sailing is on the beautiful Hauraki Gulf. The format will be short course racing with one distance race over the 4 day regatta. The distance race is a really exciting format designed to show off ever corner of the Hauraki Gulf

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Tanilba Bay Sailing club is a small family based sailing club nestled on the shores of Port Stephens. It is a beautiful setting with a tree lined rigging/camping area and picturesque course venue. The club consists of a mix of differing classes including A class, Taipan Sloops, Maricat 4.3 and at this stage a lone Viper. 38 Boats showed up across the four fleets, Taipan Cat & Sloop, A Class and Viper to compete.

The Victorian Viper fleet showed some great dedication by bringing 6 boats up to have a crack at the locals. Arriving Friday evening they rigged up in the picture perfect setting sharing a few driving stories and some good laughs they came in good spirits and ready to race after the recent Victorian States. The competition would be close with dual Olympian Krystal Weir teaming up with Nacra F18 national title holder Adam Beattie as well as experienced crew Pip Pietromonaco and James Wierzbowski fresh back from the youth Americas cup trials in San Francisco. I had a new crew lined up since my bro was going to sail the Taipan with his regular crew. A local up and coming junior Lachie White who usually sails a Hobie Wild cat F18 with his father agreed to pilot the front for me. Lachie was just fresh from winning the local youth champs on Lake Macquarie on his Mari 4.3 and was keen to put the Viper through its paces. We decided to go for a quick sail in the fading light of Friday evening. Lachie slid into the roll like he was born to it.

Saturday morning brought sunshine but no wind. Port Stephens looked better to wake board than sail! The Tanilba Bay club members delivered the usual relaxed style of briefing and introduction to the club they are famously known for in the NSW sailing scene. The race committee decided to forestall the start of racing to the breeze filled in.

Heat 1 saw beautiful sunshine and a light (but filling) 7kt North east breeze trickle up the bay. With everyone eager to get off the line the start was closely contested with the boat end starters seemingly looking the goods. We tacked off first on a little pressure and managed to cross most except for the flying Alissane and Stitch. The first mark was a tight affair with only a boat length or two between all 7 boats. As the wind increased to 10kts Lachie and I managed to hold off the flying Pip and James to jag a win. Nathan Penno and Julie Boyer showed a good turn of pace in the light stuff to jag a hard fought 5th.

Heat 2 started in a steady 12kts with the breeze continuing to fill. Again the start was surprisingly tight with everyone showing good skills to get off the line clean especially the young guns Tayla and Harrison Reitman who smoked the start. Unfortunately for Penno and Julie Penno’s trap line broke making for a stunning post start capsize! Again Lachie and I managed to break away clean and sneak around the 1st mark with a slight break. Adam Beattie and Krystal Weir showed good speed on the bright orange Viper to take a second from Pip and James who closely followed.

Heat 3 saw a beautiful 15kt Nor East breeze. Everyone proved a little eager and a general recall was called. This demonstrates how competitive the racing was being the only general recall out of all fleets. The race to the top mark was close and the kite set a pressure cooker! Adam and Krystal showed good speed to give chase to Lachie and me and we were feeling the pressure till Krystal decided to bail out on Adam opening the door for Pip and James to slip through. Gavin and Tiffany Rietman showed their class in this race powering to a 4th with some good clean round the mark sailing.

Heat 4 and the breeze had filled to a beautiful 18kts. This was champagne sailing at its best, sun out wind steady and some very quick kite runs. With Lachie changing the gears Suzanne the Viper was flying and again we saw a slim lead at the top mark. Alissane and Stitch put a beautiful race together and hassled their way in to the minor placing’s to sneak into a close 3rd just in front of Pip and James.

Saturday night the club put on a great meal and kept the rums flowing. As the night wore on the stories got taller and more unbelievable. In the end it was just the Viper crew left still shooting the breeze putting on a stoic charge to stay up till 2am.

Unfortunately Sunday saw a 25kts plus southerly change wipe out the chance of any sailing. I would really like to thank the Victorian fleet for coming so far to race against us. I would also like to thank Tanilba Bay Club for putting on a great event. Last but not least I would like to thank Lachie for sailing with me. Lachie is a talented young sailor with a bright future in sailing, so look out for him!

Check out the great video from the Reitmans who made the trip to NSW for the regatta!!


True Champions...

Expect to see a lot more of both these young guys.

Bundy Called it a few years ago and he was right. Henri Demesmaeker & Cees van Asselt Belgium F16 Champions!!!!

Sailing the Viper.


Once again the VIPER shows what it’s worth it at the Formula 16 Europeans 2012 at Lake Como in Italy. The five best results were all taken by the VIPER. Unbeaten by the other brands the VIPER is still the outstanding high performer in the formula 16 class.

A diverse fleet of competitive sailors/mixed crews were participating in this European Championship. Many in preparation and testing for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. Great names involved during this championships were: Bissaro, Le Berre, Phipps, Vaireaux, Visser and Benson. With a 9 point lead on the second place in this Regatta, Tom Phipps and Nikki Boniface named themselves F16 European Champions 2012.

Phipps and Boniface had a very strong start at the Europeans. They were able to keep the early lead after day one till the end.

The first day they made good advantages of their starting strategies, by starting last in row but the first one to tack to the right side of the course. A very good strategy that paid off.

Competition heated up on Friday as Le Berre, Benson and Le Chapelier competed for the 2nd place after Benson lost lots of ground. The day was a very tricky with big wind shifts from the middle and left side of the course, as well changes in wind strengths and shifts back to the right.

The final day of racing brought a strong, building Southern wind and made it the most exciting and wicked day of sailing of the week. Double trap, fully trimmed, working the sheet hard and sending the boat hard on the downwind brought this final day to a perfect slot of the Europeans. Although for some teams this day ended up with lots of swimming or damage. Unfortunately Le Chapelier had to withdraw from the second and third race because of a torn spinnaker and he had to give up his battle with Le Berre for the 3rd place.

Overall the Europeans were an  enjoyable and competitive week with thanks to the Sailing Club AVAL- CDV in Gravedona. Congratulations to the new European Champions Tom Phipps and Nikki Boniface.


1-            Phipps Tom, Nikki Boniface                                         15 pnt.
2-            Benson Jack, van Dooren Celine                             24 pnt.
3-            Le Berre Anne Claire, Bellet Valentin                      32 pnt.
4-            Le Chapelier Emmanuel, Norot Alexandre           40 pnt.
5-            Vaireaux Moana, Audnet Manon                           50 pnt.


Celine  van Dooren


The VIPER would have to be the most out performing boat in the world right now. With some of the world’s biggest names sailing competing on it, the VIPER is really taking it to the "big boys of the class". Last weekend in France was no acceptation VIPERS shining at the Raid Emeraude.

Vipers once again punched above their weight, full results to come. Peirre-Yves Durand and Antoine Le Corre flew the C2 flag finishing 4th in the 60 strong F18 Fleet!!!

Report bellow from our great friend Nicolas Touchot!!

"We had a wonderful time last week end in Northern Brittany for the “Raid Emeraude” with a fleet of Vipers enjoying two challenging but highly successful days of racing. Overall the Viper was the most prominent class making up about half of the C1 class and going head to head with about 60 F18.

On Day 1, after a difficult start due to a sudden drop in wind pressure Gildas Griziaux, our French Viper Class Association president, reeled-in the full fleet finishing on the heels of the Tornados and Nacra F20s, with the three leading Vipers finishing within a minute. We sailed past Cap Frehel, the first mark on the famed “Route du Rhum”, passing under the cliffs where more than 50,000 people usually await giants such as Groupama.

Despite early worries about light winds on day 2, we had a nice 15 knots wind at the start that held for the day. About half of the course was sailed under spinnaker and once again Gildas added to his growing legend by buzzing around the F20s for most of the time and finishing behind only 3 F18s that had started just 5 minutes behind.

Completing the Viper podium were Gwen Roth, former HC16 world champion, on his first regatta on a Viper, and Gael and Sandrine Brisson. Local star and transatlantic sailor Loic Fequet was also sailing a Viper, a huge change from his traditional 50 foot trimaran.

The Vipers dominated Olympic hopefuls Audrey Ogereau and Benjamin Amiot on the Cirrus Q, despite the Cirrus posting a much favorable rating.

Overall a very enjoyable regatta and a happy Viper fleet.

Nicolas "

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