Kempe begins encouragingly

  • Somers Kempe in the Viper 640 (Photograph supplied by Somers Kempe)

Somers Kempe made an encouraging start to the Viper 640 North American Championships in Kingston, Ontario, yesterday.

The Bermudian skipper posted a 5-9-12-11 record competing in light-air conditions in Kingston Harbour to end the opening day of the four-day regatta eighth in an overall fleet of 36.

“It was a good day, no major problems and went well speedwise,” said Kempe, who is making his fifth appearance at the regatta.

The former Royal Bermuda Yacht Club commodore is competing with a crew including husband and wife pair Adam (main) and Debbie Barboza (jib) and 13-year-old son Sebastian (bow), who placed second at the Optimist North American Championships in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, last week.

“This is the first time with Sebastian and it’s very fun to compete with him onboard,” added Kempe, whose best showing at the championships was second in 2010.

Another local sailor competing at the championships is Butch Agnew.

Agnew is competing with Ontario-based skipper Marc Farmer, who posted a 19-17-16-25, which left him in 20th.

Peter Beardsley, of the United States, is the overnight leader by a two-point margin over Canadian Lee Shuckerow.

The Viper 640 is a 21-foot high-performance one-design sport boat that combines the rigidness of a keelboat with the acceleration and planing capabilities of a dinghy.

It can be sailed by a crew between two and four.