First world championships

. Posted in Class History

1970_worldchamps.jpg

  An action (?) shot from the first World Championships at Hayling Island in 1970.
The boat on the left is K1, the original ‘Contention’!

In 1970, the first World Championships were held at Hayling Island, an event won by ‘wild man’ Dick Jobbins.

Dick was destined not to stay on in the class and for the next few years, it was the Australian sailor, Peter Hollis, who was the man to beat on the International circuit.

The UK though had a secret weapon in the form of the an aggressively physical sailor, who would answer to the name of David Pitman – before going afloat and doing a total horizon job on the whole fleet.

The Class Constitution called for the World Championships to rotate between the North and South Hemispheres, plus, where possible, events in the Americas. When the Worlds went south for the first time, Pitman beat Hollis on his home water to take the World Championship title for the first time. With the Worlds being held out of Europe, the first European Championship was held, with Kiel, up on the Baltic as the chosen location.

As the first ten years of the class drew to a close, the UK was very much the place to be, with many of the top New Zealand and Australian sailors basing themselves at Weston Sailing Club, to sharpen up their skills on the excellent competition there. The sailors and their boats were now becoming far more proficient at racing in breeze, which was just as well, as the summers of 1976 and 1977 were very hot and sunny…but breezy.