British Contender Class Nationals. Willcox 4th – RSA Archive Pics

by Richard Crockett

I just happened to notice a few days ago that Graeme Willcox competed in the British Contender class Nationals – and finished very well in 4th spot, with his best result a 2nd.

The Contender is a class no longer sailed in this country to my knowledge anyway, although some of the older yachties will remember it from ‘way back when’!

Rob Martin took his Contender out for the first race but was too ill to continue.

My old mate Rob Martin keeps reminding me that he sailed one of these back in the day, and laments the fact that they are no longer sailed locally – and that he is probably too old to sail one anyway!

So to remind those who knew them, and to show those who never knew them, here are some pics from the SAILING Mag archives of Contenders, plus a class newsletter from November 1972 which will bring back memories and also contains names of those active in the class at the time.

Oh, and lest I forget, well done Graeme on that fine result – and thanks for the nudge to produce this post!

An Olympic Class?
In my archives there is a press release purporting that the Contender would be a new Olympic Class, but I can find no reference to it ever having gone that far and become an Olympic Class. Maybe older readers can recollect why? READ THE DOCUMENT HERE contender 017


If anyone has info on any of these pics please send it to me ( so that I can update the archive.

Heinz Horstbrink on his Contender dinghy.
pic by Jan Hoek

Klaus Lutzeller ready to lead the Contenders out to the start line.

Klaus Lutzeller – sail no. 34.
Does anyone know who is sailing no. 22?

Peter Rademan – sail no. 50

Can anyone recognise this guy?

Whose boat was this?

Can anyone recognise this guy?

J van der Merwe (SA) and B Pearce-Fleming (Rhodesia).

With boat well balanced a Contender skipper is poised for action during the Transvaal Provincial Championships.
Who is sailing her?

Can anyone identify the skipper?

Can anyone identify the skipper?

Can anyone identify the skipper?

Could this be Peter How?

A lone South African sail number at an international event.

Could this be Adrian Gray – sail no. 33?

A tightly sheeted Contender showing a fair amount of mast ben.
Adrian Gray – sail no. 33?

Brian Pearce-Fleming – sail no. 22

Which sailing venue was this – and who was sailing this boat?

Transvaal Interclub.
Who is this?