The International Contender was designed in 1967 by Bob Miller (latterly known as Ben Lexcen) and the Musto Skiff was designed 32 years later in 1999 by Joachim Harpprecht, so surely they can’t share many common values?
Interestingly they do, and they both have an avid following, with active racing around the world.
The most obvious similarity is that they are single-handed trapeze dinghies, but of more interest is that they were both designed to be singlehanded dinghies in the Olympics. Neither was successful in their bid, despite being incredibly quick.
They both can be sailed with a wide weight range of sailor, which has attracted a variety of sailors to each class.
They boats are also renowned for their longevity, with older boats often excelling at championship events.
July saw both classes host their World Championships, with the Contenders sailing at Kerteminde Sejlklub, Denmark and the Musto Skiffs racing at Circolo Vela Torbole on Lake Garda in Italy.
The Contenders attracted 115 entries and the Musto Skiffs had 53 helms taking part, showing the popularity of each class.
Another attribute they have in common is how photogenic the boats are, as you can see from the stunning photographs that were taken during their World Championships!