The Contender dinghy was originally designed back in 1967 by Australian Ben Lexcen as a potential Olympic successor to the Finn class. The boat won the 1969 Olympic 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 Contender dinghy Class is truly International – as well as a strong UK fleet, there are fleets in Australasia, North America and right across Europe.
The class rules permit construction in GRP, wood, and GRP/wood composite, and unlike many classes, all the build options are equally competitive: in recent years the World championship has been won by both GRP and all wood boats, and the 2002 European championship winning boat was a composite.
The boat has a trapeze which allows the sailor to harness the power of the wind very effectively. The Contender dinghy is regarded by many dinghy sailors to be technically challenging to sail.
s from around 11 to 16 stone.