Organisers anticipate bumper race fleet
The Bermuda Viper 640 fleet is eagerly anticipating a bumper number of entries for next year's North American Championships.
More than 30 boats have entered since registration opened last Friday, and organisers expect that number to increase before registration closes.
“We've seen more people register at this stage than we figured,” Somers Kempe, the Bermuda Viper Class executive, said. “We are expecting to have almost 40 boats in Bermuda next year, but given that the 2015 Championships hosted 53 boats in Larchmont, New York, we could see more than that which would be incredible.
“As organisers, we always aimed to open registration as far ahead of the event as possible, because it is a major decision for folks to travel to a regatta in Bermuda with 21-foot boats.”
The Viper 640 Class is holding their North American Championships for the first time in Bermuda, with local Viper sailors keen to show off the ideal racing conditions the Great Sound offers.
Included in the local line up will be newcomer to the class, Alec Cutler, himself an accomplished sport boat skipper having represented Bermuda in the Melges 24 and Melges 32 classes.
Also joining the line-up will be newly crowned national champions Rockal Evans and Kempe, whose best finish at the regatta was in Miami in 2010, where he placed second behind Canadian Brad Boston. Boston is also slated to race in Bermuda, and will be defending his title for the sixth straight time.
Entrants are being drawn from all over the United States including Tim Carter, the Class Governor, attending from California, and Craig and Deborah Wilusz from Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
The Bermuda Tourism Authority is the host sponsor for the event while shipping sponsors include the Bermuda Container Line, Bermuda International Shipping Ltd and Somers Isles Shipping Ltd. EFG International is the presenting sponsor, with Gubinelli Wines and Goslings also supporting the championships which will take place in November.
“We are really pleased to have major sponsorship from all the shipping companies serving Bermuda who will transport the fleet of boats to the Island next year,” Kempe said. “Without their support this event would not be possible.
“We are also extremely pleased to have support from the BTA. It is fantastic to note that we already have confirmation from 65 per cent of competitors entered so far saying they will be bringing additional family and friends to the island during the week of racing.”