General Informations

The Boat

The Contender is a high performance racing dinghy, light, fast, spectacular. A single hander, where the helmsman controls the boat from the trapeze wire to balance the forces from the large sail. Its excellent performance in stronger winds and waves reflects its Australian origin. The Contender was designed as a potential successor to the Finn dinghy as a class for Olympic single handed racing. For the last 40 years, the Contender has been the only high performance single-handed dinghy that offers international racing in competitive fleets. Worldwide, about 2,400 boats have been built and sailed in 17 countries.

The Contender has been a recognised International Class by the International Sailing Federation since 1968. It has proven to be suitable for a wide variety of sailors, both male and female. The weight of successful sailors range from 55kg to 95kg (120lbs to 210lbs) and heights from 165cm to 200cm (5ft 4 to 6ft 4). Sailing a Contender requires a good deal of agility and athletic ability. The close racing during championships rewards outstanding boat handling as well as tactical skill. A race in a Contender is a combination of physical and mental challenge, with equal chances for the fittest youngsters and the more experienced sailors. Contender champions' ages vary from 20 to 50 years. The developments of the boat have enabled the boat to be raced even in rough open sea conditions.


Design: Ben Lexcen
(Australia, 1967)
Length: 4.87 m
Beam: 1.50 m
Hull weight: 83 kg
Sail area: 10.8 m2
PN: 994


If you want to know why the top 10 Contenders at the 2008 Worlds were so fast, take a look at the boat data below.
pdf Worlds 2008 Boat Data

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National Associations

Austria
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 Finland
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New Zealand
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Australia
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 France
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 Norway
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Belgium
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 Germany
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 Spain
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Canada
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Great Britain
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Sweden
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Denmark
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Italy
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Switzerland
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Estonia
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Netherlands
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USA
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Class Rules

The International Contender Class Rules are regularly reviewed. The aim is to both develop the class and keep old boats competitive. 

The latest class rules of the International Contender Class are available on World Sailing: http://www.sailing.org/28191.php

Every year a World Championship is being held. These truely international events as well as European Championships are governed by the following rules:  ICA Championship Rules 2018

Jason Beebe Runner Up

Facts and Figures


The Class Rules

The International Contender Class Rules are regularly reviewed in order to prohibit the
use of exotic materials or expensive equipment. This prevents the escalating cost of sailing
"the Ultimate Singlehander".

In recent year the costs of spars from aluminium have been rising while availability
is decreasing, the cost of carbon fibre spars has been decreasing, therefore the class
has approved the use of carbon fibre masts and booms. Loose footed sails are now permitted.

Class members have repeatedly refused to reduce the bare hull weight because members
wish to preserve the market value of older hulls. Change the rig, protect the hull
investment.

The rules permit licensed and amateur builders to construct this boat. Hulls are
built successfully in all wood, composite glassfibre hull/ wood deck and all glassfibre.

You can view or download the Class Rules by clicking here.


Racing

The International Contender has proven to be suitable for a wide variety of sailors,
both male and female. The weight of successful sailors range from 55kg to 95kg (120lbs to 210lbs) and
heights from 165cm to 200cm (5ft 4 to 6ft 4). Contender champions' ages vary from 20 to 50 years.
The developments of the boat have enabled the boat to be raced even in rough open
sea conditions.


World Championships 2008 Boat Data

If you want to know why the top 10 Contenders at the 2008 Worlds were so fast, take a look at the boat data below.
pdf Worlds 2008 Boat Data