The 2011 Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week was the perfect venue to kick off our EFG Pan American Pacific West Coast Championship. We had 15 Vipers on the line and some really great competition. We had several new boats, all sporting different colors from mint, yellow and purple.
Friday was a light air day, which made it key to catch all the shifts. We had poor starts and were over early in the second one, but managed to claw our way to the top and finish first in both races. We had Kevin Taugher on the boat, and he was amazing at keeping us in phase all day. Tim Carter was at the helm and he kept focused on making the boat go fast. I was constantly playing the jib during the shifts and puffs to keep us in gear.
The party Friday night was at ABYC and the Viper fleet made sure to close it down. Naturally, some shenanigans went down.
Saturday was a typical long beach day with lots of wind. Our main focus was to keep the boat flat, play the jib, and stay in phase. Our Ullman inventory allowed us to transfer through the velocity changes with ease and found our spinnaker very effective in the planing conditions. Our second race was by far our best race of the weekend. We were over early at the start and didn’t hear our number until a minute after and by that time we were 300 yards up and sandwiched in a snake pit. By the time we – re-started we were so far down that it almost felt impossible to get back up to the top. Luckily, we had 3 long legs and great crew work to land us a 2nd place finish. New Viper owner Jim Sears had a great day with three top five finishes displaying his great driving in the windy conditions. Jim has big plans in the future and is already talking about an East Coast Tour. Jim enjoys the family aspect of the boat and has his girlfriend crew for him.
Sunday was another light wind day and extremely patchy. We managed to stay in the breeze, catch all the shifts, and change gears quickly on the first race. Our last race consisted of tacking and gybing duels all the way to the finish. Chris Winnard and his crew had great boat speed and tactics and finished in first. Overall, we ended the regatta with 5 bullets and 2 seconds. Please check out our video from the weekend. A big thanks to everyone who came out and made this such a great event. We had boats from Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix and San Diego. We hope to get the Gulf Coast and East Coast out next year!
From Rachel Ellis
Team Viral has a 100% Ullman Inventory on their Viper 640