Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Contender: Always on the Outside Looking In!

Speaking about singlehander classes trying out for the Olympic circus, one cannot forget the Contender. This Ben Lexcen design was a winner over a set of three singlehanded trials in the 1960's with the express aim to replace the Olympic Finn. Never happened. This didn't stop the class from prospering. Another set of great videos from the same videographer that brought you the Garda Europeans for the Europe Dinghy, featuring the Contenders and their jolly skippers on the trapeze.

The Contender is one of the few International classes where wooden boats (in this case beautiful cold molded versions) remain competitive. Huzzah! Huzzah! for classes that have woodies racing for their championships.


Alden Smith said...

There is one Contender that races here at our yacht club - I must tell him about these videos - awesome boat. I watched very hard but couldn't quite see whether they un-clip and then re-clip onto the trapeze when they tack - do you know what the procedure is??

Alden Smith said...

...... meaning does the trapeze run on some sort of continuous connection?

Tweezerman said...


If I remember the Contender's were experimenting with a continuous trapeze system about 15 years ago; two elongated L hooks connected by a shock cord so, in theory, the skipper would just have to roll from one side to the other without un-hooking. I haven't come across a Contender in a few years but from the videos it looks like the class is back with the standard trapeze system.