Contender Dinghy

an area to discuss dinghy developments
Locked
SaturdayGirl
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:47 pm

Contender Dinghy

Post by SaturdayGirl » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:06 pm

Hi i see your Dinghy Data base credits Ben Lexan as the designer of the Contender Dinghy , Can we get this straight Ben was Bob Miller at the time . The class drawings are in his name . No more bending of the history please and please put right immediately . I guess you guys don`t want any more forum problems .

If one had a list of boats with sail numbers and owners + builders is there a way to enter these details on this site ?

Pat
Posts: 2472
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: West Wiltshire (Wessex)

Re: Contender Dinghy

Post by Pat » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:26 pm

I'll change the designer when I go live with the new database which is work in progress. It's not worth the effort to amend the old one.
I could publish the list but it is really the class association's place to publish that to members only as an open site isn't the place for personal details. The Merlin Rocket Association prints it in the yearbook which is sent only to members and only includes members details so everyone has agreed to be printed.

User avatar
Nessa
Posts: 2283
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:16 pm
Location: East Angular

Re: Contender Dinghy

Post by Nessa » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:36 pm

Goodness! What a brusque post! I think it's important to realise that any database is only as good as the data supplied to it, and that in most cases such online databses are compiled by volunteers. And Pat is right to avoid letting this database be alterable, otherwise we'd end up with a wikipedia type object full of all kinds of nonsense.

Still, nice to see another friend of Dorothy.....
The Peril
Agamemnon
Lovely little Cadet
OK 1954
Xena Warrior Princess
Finn 469
Laser 2
Wayfarer World

User avatar
neil
Site Admin
Posts: 1633
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:33 pm
Location: Plymouth

Re: Contender Dinghy

Post by neil » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:42 pm

Whilst the name change may cause some confusion:

the British Contender class association - http://www.sailcontender.org.uk/ lists the Ben Lexcen as the designer.

the International Class association - http://contenderclass.org/en/the-boat.html lists the Ben Lexcen as the designer.

I would assume that the editor of the dinghy database would be informed by information in the public domain - the class associations.
I guess you guys don't want any more forum problems
Don't threaten the forum.
IC: K26
Harrier +: 2

Zenith's rebuild - www.pegasus18.com/zenith

User avatar
Ed
Site Admin
Posts: 3478
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:11 pm
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Re: Contender Dinghy

Post by Ed » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:15 pm

David Henshall asked that I post this answer to this thread.

I, for one, would not want to argue with David on anything about his favourite topic - the Contender and I would not dream of changing anything on our database about the Contender without his agreement.


"During the lengthy research phase for 'Hooked On', the books that charts the first 40 years of the International Contender, I interviewed many of Bob Miller/ben Lexen's closest and oldest friends, including his one time business partner Craig Whitworth (from the Miller and Whitworth label). I also had access to much of the 'estate' that the great man left following his untimely death, including a great many of his letters. From all this I can say, with total confidence, that the reasons for the change of name, from Bob to Ben, were deep rooted and complex. The one thing that is 100% certain though was Ben's commitment to not using the name Bob Miller again, not under any circumstances. When the class had dealings with the designer, they wrote to Ben and got answers from Ben - if you'd addressed them to Bob you'd not have got very far. So, an early set of plans may well have the name Bob Miller, later issues carry the title Bob Miller (ben Lexen) as does the Isaf record for the boat.

What we must not forget here is that there was nobody pressurising Bob to change, this was what he wanted, end of story.

From what I found, from those who knew him and loved him, he was a great man, an inspiring and talented dinghy sailor and for sure one of the great visionaries - his legacy, the Americas Cup aside, is one of the prettiest boats around (albeit it an unashamed rip of from the FD hull shape) not to mention a boat that gives one of the great sailing experiences. If Bob wanted to be called Ben, then surely we should respect that and leave that little bit of history, dark though it may be, alone and unchallenged.

Right at the front of the book, I devoted a short chapter to the man who became known as Ben Lexen, in this I made it clear that from a historical prespective, either name will suffice. This was more than acceptable to those down under, in this case let us follow the Australians and just treat the names Bob and Ben with equality"

Should you wish for a copy of the book, so that you can read a little more on the subject, I've just had the next print run sent to me, so books are currently in stock, priced £15.

David Henshall
Author, Hooked On, The story of the Contender


I think we should most probably call the matter closed unless it can be addressed in a slightly more polite fashion.

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
MR 638 - Please come and take it away
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

User avatar
Nessa
Posts: 2283
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:16 pm
Location: East Angular

Re: Contender Dinghy

Post by Nessa » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:12 am

I have to say that my most recent and exciting ebay purchase (given I can buy no more boats right now) is a copy ofDinghy Sailing by Dave Pitman, contender maestro. I am eagrly awaiting its arrival this very morn, and can only assume Dougal either has it or took his eye off the ball for a precious moment!

I now have 2359, one of the only two Gosling built contenders, and from what I can remember from my (prescription) drug clouded past, this is contender number six for me! Best boats ever.
The Peril
Agamemnon
Lovely little Cadet
OK 1954
Xena Warrior Princess
Finn 469
Laser 2
Wayfarer World

Pat
Posts: 2472
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: West Wiltshire (Wessex)

Re: Contender Dinghy

Post by Pat » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:56 pm

Then as Bob Miller wished to be known as Ben Lexen I shall let the database reflect his wishes. Case closed.

User avatar
neil
Site Admin
Posts: 1633
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:33 pm
Location: Plymouth

Re: Contender Dinghy

Post by neil » Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:33 pm

as is this thread
IC: K26
Harrier +: 2

Zenith's rebuild - www.pegasus18.com/zenith

Locked