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The Contender is a high performance racing dinghy, light, fast, and 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.