Sailing boat

2020 Canadian Viper 640 Covid Great Lakes Championship

 October 3-4 2020.
 Hosted by Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, Ontario, Canada


Click Here to Register

Notice of Race

The Regatta is open to all boats of the Viper 640 class.


The Regatta fee is $125 per boat.


  • Friday, October 2, Check-in, registration and launch.
  • Saturday, October 3:
Check in, registration, launch.
  • Competitors’ meeting outside clubhouse 9:00
  • Warning for race 1—11:00am.
  • Sunday October 4: Warning for the first race – 10:00am; remaining races to follow. No race will start after 14:00.


  • During the regatta all participants must preserve physical distance of 2 metres from everyone outside their immediate circle.
  • Competitors must wear a mask while indoors at the RHYC.
  • All competitors must provide contact information at registration.
  • All competitors must complete an online COVID survey during the 24 hours before each day’s racing. No one with symptoms of COVID-19 will be permitted to sail.
  • In the event of tightened COVID restrictions by municipal or provincial authorities, the regatta may be cancelled. In the event of cancellation before racing has begun, registration fees already paid will be refunded.


For further information or to register, please email Matthew Rowlinson; m. 519.871 0061. No registration is complete until the registration fee has been paid and contact information (email and phone) for all competitors has been supplied.


2020 has been a tough year for everyone. Viperers, with travel limited and restrictions on social contacts outside the household, have missed what was supposed to be an event-packed season of one-design racing culminating in the  North Americans on Long Island Sound. As of mid-September, there had been no one-design racing on the Great Lakes since 2019, though boats had been sailing PHRF in Sarnia, Ottawa, and Hamilton.
Out of some threads of text messages, the fleet decided to try and throw an event on short notice before the season was completely done. The Royal Hamilton Yacht Club on Burlington Bay proved to be excited about hosting, and able to provide boats and RC—so the regatta came together for October 3 and 4. 5 boats raced, with a higher proportion of family teams than usual—the Molimard brothers came from Montreal, Van Sheppard came with his sons Alex and Luke from Nepean, the Rowlinsons were there from RHYC, with Charlotte Panneton; and the fleet was rounded out by Adrian Laman, also from RHYC, and Brian Johansen from Sarnia.
The forecast was for cold, intermittent rain, and no wind; 11 am on Saturday the fleet was under AP sailing in circles around a sail training brigantine. But after about an hour, breeze filled in from NE. It started shifty and patchy, but built to 8-10, and hung there for the rest of the weekend.
Big shifts remained the name of the game, with every boat getting the zero to hero experience at one point or another. Race officer Tony van Schie and his team did a great job banging off races while keeping the course fair; 5 were sailed on Saturday, with 4 more Sunday.
When it was all over, Van Shepard on Wadjet showed he had the tactical smarts and boat speed edge needed to win; in the tight racing, Brian Johansen on Northern Honey Badger took second and the Rowlinsons on Whisper were third. The prize for youngest competitor went to Alex Shepard; we’ll be seeing more of him and Luke in coming years! And the Road Warrior prize for distance traveled went to the Molimards on Longue Distance. Patrick and Alain sailed the whole regatta in board shorts and spray tops (green, to match their chute), and were also acclaimed as best-dressed!
Thanks to RHYC for hosting a great regatta on short notice. Everyone who sailed was really happy to be on the water and racing. It would be great to bring a bigger fleet back next season; for this year, congratulations to Van and his boys on winning what we hope will be the one and only Covid Championship of the Great Lakes.