Be a Contender

Be a Contender

We’re going to help promote the Contender class, and thought we’d give you the basics of a boat that we all know, but may not know that much about.

The International Contender is the most popular single-handed trapeze sailing dinghy with 2,500 boats across the globe with fleets in Australasia, North America, and Europe. The class has ISAF International status, with World Championships routinely attracting turnouts of over 100 boats at some of the best sailing locations in the world. 

The Contender was originally designed back in 1967 by the Australian Ben Lexcen as a potential successor to the Olympic Finn Class. The boat won the 1968 Olympic selection trials, but for a variety of reasons was never adopted as an Olympic class. This was probably something of a blessing, as the class has thrived ever since. The longevity of the class is a testament to the original design: simple, practical, with classic good looks.

The boat has proven to be suitable for a wide variety of successful sailors, both male and female. The weight of sailors range from 55kg to 95kg (120lbs to 210lbs) and heights from 165cm to 200cm (5′ 4" to 6′ 6").

The Contender has strong local class associations across the globe that each build fully comprehensive racing programs and organize training at various levels for sailors from beginner to expert. More information can be found on the various national sites for the class. Go to the following link to find your national region.  Boat builders can be found in various corners of the world. Visit the International Contender website at www.contenderclass.org for access to the current builders. You will also find second hand boat lists available on the various regional websites.

The International Contender circuit will take sailors this year to Denmark for the World Championships followed by Brisbane Australia in 2010 and Weymouth in the UK in 2011 at the 2012 Olympic venue. The next European Championships will be held in La Rochelle, France in 2010.  To find out more about the International Contender class contact your national regional representative who can be found by going to the relevant national association website using this link.

There has never been a better time to jump into a Contender!