Dorothy is dropped

. Posted in Class History

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, an Australian Skiff designer and sailor had also picked up on the IYRU search for a new dinghy. Away from the European influences that had resulted in boats such as the Trapez and Unit, Bob Miller instead drew on his skiff background to produce a boat that became known as ‘Miller’s Missile’.

With a simple box section hull, featuring little rocker in the keel line, a fully battened main and a trapeze for the helm, the boat flew in breeze, but as Bob was to later admit, the boat “Sucked in the light stuff”.

When it came to the next phase of the design process, Bob simply lifted the hull shape of the Flying Dutchman and shrunk it down until it met the design criteria. This was a far more seaworthy and practical boat, that Bob was to name the Dorothy, after his wife.

millersmissile.jpg
A very old but rare picture of ‘Miller’s missile’,
Bob’s first attempt at designing a single hander.
With the next Trials as La Baule approaching, Bob needed to get his boat to Europe and being short of money, sought out a sponsor. An Australian company had recently launched a new sailcloth, that they had named ‘Contender’. They offered financial support to the new boat, which underwent a name change; Dorothy was dropped and the boat that was despatched to La Baule was now known as the ‘Contender’.