The international Contender association is currently evaluating the use carbonfibre spars. It’s expected a decision on the rule change will be ratified this year.

Despite a couple of major hiccups which included a collision and an impounded boat, the Contender class managed to get three boats to the show on time including the new Boat Hoare glass boat showing a prototype carbon rig. The international association is currently evaluating the rig and it’s expected that a decision on the rule change will be ratified this year.

The new wood boat that was originally going to be exhibited was involved in an on-the-water collision with a 49er the previous weekend. Fortunately no one was injured but the Contender did suffer major damage. A replacement boat was immediately tracked down but unfortunately it was locked away inside the dinghy compound at King George SC – one of the Thames Water Authority clubs closed because of the Foot and Mouth crisis. Special arrangement were made and the wood boat finally made it through the doors of Alexandra Palace to join the two glass boats on display.

Last year the association’s bright idea to attract newcomers into the class was a great success. They put a ready to race second-hand boat on the stand at an extremely good price and it was snapped up immediately. They did the same again this year this time with a Rondar-built boat, ready to race, including covers and combi trailer for ‘1,500. “It’s an excellent way,” said Tony Burton from the class association, “to demonstrate how affordable the class is to get in to. Someone could get a really good season from this boat for an excellent price.”