The Yachtsman 2017-2018 RPAYC Yachtsman 2016-2017 - Page 53

VIPER WORLDS HELD IN BERMUDA A small but active RPAYC Viper 640 sports boat fleet represented the RPAYC nationally and internationally in the last 12 months. VIPER 640 Mark Griffith (Old School Racing) and Luke Ratcliff from the Viper called Heat travelled to Bermuda in November 2016 for the Viper Worlds, getting a taste of the America’s Cup venue and enjoying good success in the pre-worlds. When it was decided that Bermuda would host the Viper 640 world title, everyone was looking forward to the big winds that prevail on the Great Sound at that time of year. The wind came in but unfortunately it was just too much on two of the race days, cutting the program short. From 41 entries Old School Racing finished mid-fleet. Heat travelled to this year’s Festival of Sails at Geelong and narrowly missed out on the primary sports boat trophy, finishing second by one point over the four day point score. Sydney Harbour Regatta (MHYC) in March was also cut short due to the lasting effects of a nasty East Coast low. The sports boat fleet and other classes on the same course were sent ashore part- way through Race 2 of the weekend series when a number of crews found themselves in trouble on a busy harbour in 30 plus knots. Heat won the small sports boat division with a family crew, including 11 year old Harley. The two RPAYC Vipers went head to head in April at the 10th anniversary Sail Port Stephens in the ASBA Sports Boat Nationals. RPAYC members Andy Wharton and Barley Legal scored fourth and fifth and next Club boat was Heat in ninth, 15 year old IYD sailor Tyler on the helm, and Old School Racing 12th. South of Perth Yacht Club in WA won the right to host the 2018 Viper 640 Worlds and next February Mark Griffiths will compete with a QLD team while the Ratcliff family will head south again in the January holidays to try and go one better in the Festival of Sails sports boat division. LISA RATCLIFF YAC H T SMA N 51