Windcraft signs exclusive dealer agreement with Contest Yachts

Windcraft Yachts forges exclusive new partnership with renowned Dutch marque Contest

Leading Australian and New Zealand yacht importer Windcraft will represent Contest Yachts in the region after an exclusive dealership agreement was signed at boot Düsseldorf 2024.

The recent announcement on social media will see Windcraft take on Contest’s range of premium blue water cruising yachts from 42-85 feet, as well as the Dutch’s brand’s acclaimed motor yacht model the Contest 52MC.

Windcraft Managing Director Anthony Bishop was in Düsseldorf last month and inked the deal with the CEO of Contest Yachts Arjen Conijn. He welcomed the opportunity to represent such a highly regarded name in the yacht building industry.

“Having known Arjen and his team for five years now, I am delighted that we are able to represent Contest Yachts in Australia and NZ,” Bishop revealed. “They are extremely passionate about building the highest quality semi-custom yachts for their owners who all have only good things to say about the team, the yard and the yachts,” he added.

The praise was reciprocated by Contest CEO Arjen Conjin who explained the partnership with Windcraft was an important part of the company’s strategy to expand into new markets in Asia-Pacific.

“We are delighted to now be working with Anthony to grow our presence in the APAC region,” he said. “We have a great range of yachts, our story is strong, and Anthony’s team at Windcraft Yachts is well placed to tell it and sell it. The time is right. We are expanding,” Conjin enthused.

Founded in 1959 the family run Contest yard at Medemblik, about an hour-and-a-half north of Amsterdam, has developed a dedicated following among sailors for their beautifully constructed, fun to sail, luxurious and reassuringly sea-worthy semi-custom cruising yachts.

Contest has equally forged a reputation for its build quality and expertise, leading the way in recent years in ‘one shot’ vacuum infusion construction and is only one of a few boat-builders in this size range to obtain full Lloyd’s Register certification – a mark of excellence that is hard to achieve and which the boatyard rightly prides itself on. Reviews of the Contest line consistently refer to the yachts’ superior craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail.

Indeed, the new Contest 50CS which features the traditional voluminous full-beam aft Owners cabin and centre-cockpit layout that the brand is recognised for, starred alongside its aft-cockpit sistership the 49CS at boot Düsseldorf. Both models attracted plenty of media interest, with Toby Hodges, well-known Boat Test Editor at Yachting World describing the 50CS as “an archetype luxury cruiser in my eyes, one built to the highest standards and that could take you to most waters in impeccable comfort.”

The 49CS is the first Contest to offer spacious twin aft cabins and an Owners cabin in the bow in this size category while still maintaining Contest’s twin focus on luxury and practical comforts, and has been just as well-received. Both the 49CS and 50CS benefit from Judel/Vrolijk’s extensive hull design experience, creating better upwind and light wind performance than previous models along with less heel, and drag while maintaining a smooth, composed motion in rough conditions. Judel/Vrolijk have also drawn the lines for Contest’s new compact super-yacht the Contest 63CS with the first hull of which is due to launch later this year and has already attracted interest from Australia.

That enviable sea-keeping pedigree is also inherent in Contest’s series of fast motor yachts.  Combining grace, performance and poise any of the 52MC Fastlane, Flybridge, Open Sport, Classic and T-Top models would fulfill the requirements of the most exacting owner.

An indication of the high regard the Contest name is held in is the yard’s recent collaboration with none other than Bentley to create a bespoke interior for the impressive Contest 67CS. The venerated British car marque’s iconic diamond quilted patterning and stitching was applied to the entire vessel interior, right down to tissue boxes and drink coasters. There was even a handmade sofa from Bentley’s engineering facility, plus a bar and vanity unit, all in Bentley trim adding a completely unique element to an extraordinary yacht.

Windcraft MD Anthony Bishop is confident the entire Contest range of nine superbly crafted sailing and five power yachts with their inherent combination of luxury, comfort and the ability to handle challenging conditions will gain a loyal following here.

“With this high-quality Dutch approach to performance blue water cruising, we see a great future in our market which includes so many true distance-cruising sailors – and we love that these yachts are equally so well set for luxurious local cruising,” he concludes.

For more information including prices contact Anthony Bishop, Managing Director, Windcraft Yachts on 02 9979 1709 or email anthony@windcraftyachts.com

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