Contender (dinghy)

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Class symbol
Contender sailing dinghy.jpg
A Contender on reach
Crew 1 (trapeze)
Draft 1,447 mm (57.0 in)
Hull weight 83 kg (183 lb)
LOA 4,870 mm (192 in)
Beam 1,500 mm (59 in)
Mainsail area 10.8 m2 (116 sq ft)
D-PN 90.1[1]
RYA PN 970[2]

The International Contender is a single-handed high performance sailing dinghy, designed by Bob Miller, latterly known as Ben Lexcen, (Australia) in 1967 as a possible successor to the Finn dinghy for Olympic competition.

The Contender is recognized as an International Class by the International Sailing Federation, the governing body of sail boat racing, which administers the class rules.


"Single-handed" means sailed by only one person. The boat has a trapeze which allows the sailor to use their weight more effectively. The design of the boat does not favour sailors within a narrow or extreme size or weight range, past champions have ranged from 60 kg to more than 90 kg. While physical fitness, agility and strength are advantageous, good technical sailing skills and experience can count for more.

Sailors wishing to master the Contender must learn how to trapeze and steer the boat at the same time, and how to move about the boat while keeping it level. As part of race tuning, the Contender mast is commonly raked well aft, which results in restricted space between the boom and deck. Tacking consequently requires technique and practice to avoid getting stuck under the boom. Sailing the boat level at all times (except in very light winds) is fastest and reduces capsizes, which can happen fast if the boom dips into the water. There is a trade-off between raking the mast far aft and keeping the kicker (boom vang) tight at all times (which is faster) and the higher probability of capsizing due to this less forgiving set up. Unlike older and heavier dinghy designs, the Contender requires the centerboard to be lowered at least somewhat to avoid quick capsizes when reaching and running in a breeze.


World Championships[edit]

Year Gold Silver Bronze
1970 Hayling Island  Dick Jobbins (GBR)
1972 Medemblik  Peter Hollis (AUS)
1973 Imperia  Peter Hollis (AUS)
1975 Brisbane  David Pitman (GBR)
1976 Palo Alto  David Pitman (GBR)
1977 Kiel  David Pitman (GBR)
1979 Takapuna  Peter Newlands (NZL)
1980 Hayling Island  Peter Newlands (NZL) and
 Geoff Whitfield (GBR)
1981 Toronto, CAN  Peter Newlands (NZL)
1982 Medemblik  Tony Smith (NZL)
1983 Lake Macquarie  Tony Smith (NZL)
1984 Riva del Garda, ITA  Barry Watson (AUS)
1985 Struer  Barry Watson (AUS)
1986 Santa Cruz  Mark Starratt (USA)
1987 Hamburgsund  John Webb (GBR)
1988 Brisbane  Steve Daniel (GBR)
1989 Travemünde  Steve Daniel (GBR)
1990 Hayling Island  John Hardman (GBR)  John Browett (GBR)  Steve Daniel (GBR)
1991 Marsala  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)  Christopher Burrough (GBR)  Graham Scott (GBR)
1992 Melbourne  Barry Watson (AUS)
1993 Medemblik  Stuart Jones (GBR)  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)  Steven Grimes (AUS)
1994 Attersee  Graham Scott (GBR)  Stuart Jones (GBR)
1995 Rowayton  Graham Scott (GBR)  Stuart Jones (GBR)  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)
1996 Weymouth  Ian Renilson (GBR)  Neil Wilson (GBR)  Jason Beebe (AUS)
1997 Sydney, AUS  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)  Ian Renilson (GBR)  Nigel Walbank (GBR)
1998 Caligari  Stuart Jones (GBR)  Graham Scott (GBR)  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)
1999 Kiel, GER  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)  Stuart Jones (GBR)  Ian Renilson (GBR)
2000 Medemblik  Gabriel Wicke (GER)  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)  Ian Renilson (GBR)
2001 Kingston, CAN  Arthur Brett (AUS)  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)  Nigel Walbank (GBR)
2002 Melbourne  Arthur Brett (AUS)  Tim Holden (GBR)  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)
2003 Plymouth, GBR  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)  Tim Holden (GBR)  Stuart Jones (GBR)
2004 Riva del Garda, ITA  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)  Marcus Hamilton (AUS)  Giovanni Bonzio (ITA)
2005 Travemünde  Jan von der Bank (GER)  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)  Giovanni Bonzio (ITA)
2006 Fremantle, AUS  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)  Marcus Hamilton (AUS)  Tim Hill (AUS)
2007 Medemblik, NED  Marcus Hamilton (AUS)  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)  Jan von der Bank (GER)
2008 Kingston, CAN  Marcus Hamilton (AUS)  Marco Versari (ITA)  Søren Dulong Andreasen (DEN)
2009 Sønderborg  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)  Jono Neate (AUS)  Jacob Lunding (DEN)
2010 Brisbane, AUS  Jono Neate (AUS)  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)  Christoph Homeier (GER)
2011 Weymouth, GBR  Bjarke Johnsen (DEN)  Graham Scott (GBR)  Søren Dulong Andreasen (DEN)
2012 St. Petersburg  Antonio Lambertini (ITA)  Giovanni Bonzio (ITA)  Søren Dulong Andreasen (DEN)
2013 Gravedona, Lago De Como  Søren Dulong Andreasen (DEN)  Simon Mussel (GBR)  Mark Bulka (AUS)
2014 Belmont NSW, Lake Macquarie  Mark Bulka (AUS)  Jono Neate (AUS)  Matthew Mulder (AUS)
2015 Medemblik, NED  Simon Mussell (GBR)  Mark Bulka (AUS)  Andrea Bonezzi (ITA)
2016 Santa Cruz, USA

Continental Championships[edit]

European championship


  1. ^ "Centerboard Classes". US Sailing. Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Portsmouth Number List 2017". Royal Yachting Association. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 

External links[edit]