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The 29er is a two-person high-performance sailing skiff designed by Julian Bethwaite and first produced in 1998.

The 29er is able to reach high speeds fairly quickly by having a sleek and hydrodynamic hull and will often exceed the wind speed when planing both up and downwind.
An adult riding a red O’PEN Skiff (formerly O'PEN Bic)

More About 29er

In Summary:


Age Group:

Junior Sailors


A 2-person boat that is renowned for its competitive racing scene and high-performance fun.

Age & Weight Range For The 29er Class:

The 29er is typically sailed from 14 to 19 years of age as a youth class. The ideal weight range is 110kg to 140kg, often sailed by mixed male and female teams, but also sailed by all female and all male crews.

Kids competing on an O’PEN Skiff (formerly O'PEN Bic) boat
Two people sailing on a 29er boat

About The 29er Class

The 29er is a two-person high-performance sailing skiff designed by Julian Bethwaite right here in Australia – the same designer who also created the Olympic 49er class. First produced in 1998, the 29er skiff quickly gained momentum around the globe, with over 3000 boats on the water and up to 200 competitors attending large 29er class regattas.

The 29er is able to reach high speeds fairly quickly, with its sleek and hydrodynamic hull offering a myriad of benefits. A 29er skiff will often exceed the wind speed when planing both up and downwind.

Features & Benefits of the 29er skiff

The 29er is often lauded as the best youth sailing boat available in the world today. In terms of design, the 29er is a double-handed, single-trapeze skiff with a self-tacking jib and asymmetric spinnaker.

When it comes to the 29er, the focus is truly on speed and performance, though the exceptional quality and workmanship that goes into constructing a 29er also makes it one of the most durable classes on the water. Inexpensive to maintain and offering maximum thrills to teen sailors, it’s no wonder this dinghy originally designed as an Olympic 49er feeder class has come into its own as a high-performance racing boat.

World Sailing Status International
Type Centreboard Boat
No. of Crew 2
Opt Crew Weight 120 – 140 kg
Designer Julian Bethwaite
Hull Material GRP
Year Designed 1997
Number of Trapeze Single
Hull Length 4.4 m
Beam Length 1.7 m
Spinnaker Area 16.83 m2
Sail Area (Upwind) 13.19 m2
Boat Weight 72-74 kg

Racing in the 29er skiff

The 29er skiff is one of the classes sailed in the Youth Worlds and therefore a major pathway class for Australian Sailing. There are international and continental 29er championships held on an annual basis.
As a strict one-design class, there are stringent control standards placed on entrants in 29er sailing event. By ensuring every entrant is racing with the same equipment, the 29er class focuses on skill and teamwork, offering a level playing field for both boys and girls to excel.

29er Class Events in WA & Interstate

Upcoming 29er class events:

International 29er events

29er Class Events in WA & Interstate

Take The First Step To Getting Out On The Water

Become a mounts bay sailing club member today

29er Fleet in Perth – Mounts Bay Sailing Club

At Mounts Bay Sailing Club, we welcome new members to join our 29er Fleet, whether that’s sailing your 29er in our family-friendly Twilight Sailing or weekend racing events or participating in any of our junior training programs.

Our regular Learning & Development program for kids and teens runs on regular weeknights throughout the sailing season and as school holiday courses.

The 29er is the perfect dinghy for junior sailors in our Learning & Development pathway looking to launch into real high-performance racing. The 29er is also one of the junior classes sailed in international competition. Selection regattas are held each year to pick Australian representatives at the pinnacle event for young sailors – The World Youth Championships.

The 29er is also a feeder class for the Olympic 49er, making it the perfect dinghy for our promising young sailors to master.

Interested in sailing a 29er skiff in Perth? Get in touch with MBSC’s sailing development officer to find out how we can get your young sailor out on the Swan River in our 29er Fleet.

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