More than 80 years on, Sharpies still fly
STELLENDAM _ More than 80 years after it was designed in Germany, the Sharpie 12 sq. m remains a popular brand. In 2013, there are 8 Sharpie regattas in the Netherlands alone, including at the end of July _ and for the 50th time! _ the European Championships. Organizers reported participants from Germany, Portugal, Spain, Britain and the Netherlands.
The Sharpie originated in 1931, the winner of a design contest in Germany. The designers were the Kroeger brothers of Warnemünde. Their boat has a gaff-rigged mainsail, a genoa and excellent sailing characteristics. The Sharpie’s high moment came in the 1950s when the 2-person dinghy was selected for the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. A Dutch boycott of these games over the Russian invasion of Hungary that year kept sailors from the Netherlands away from those games.
These days, wooden Sharpies still abound in Germany, Britain and Portugal. In the Netherlands there are about 80, of which 50 or so still join regattas. In Australia and Brazil, you’ll run into fiberglass Sharpies with a 3-person crew. Sharpie specs:
Hull: 5.99 meters
Beam: 1.43 meters
Draft: 0.16 to 0.96 meters