THE                          PAGE

European 12 Sq. Metre Sharpie
with leech battens and crew of two
The 12 Sq. Metre Sharpie was designed in Germany in 1931 by brothers Hans and Karl Kroger in collaboration with Walter Brauer. It was selected for the 1956 Olympics and Australia won its first Olympic sailing medal when Rolly Tasker sailing  "Falcon"  (see photo on right with Australian rig) took the silver medal. The Gold medal was won by New Zealand and the Bronze by Great Britain.

The name "12 Sq. Metre" refers to the original sail area although it has increased since then.
The class was introduced into South Australia in 1933 and quickly spread to other states. The Australian Sharpie soon began to develop differently to the European boats. Changes included fully battened mainsails, an increase in the crew number from two to three, a flat reaching spinnaker and a ballooner for running and later on a trapeze for the forward hand.

In the late 1950's the 12 Sq. Metre Sharpie had been replaced by the Flying Dutchman for the 1960 Olympics and interest in the Sharpie began to wane. A modernised version of the Sharpie was developed in Australia replacing the planked hull with plywood and the gaff rig with a Bermuda rig. (see photo on right.)
The new version became known as the "Lightweight" Sharpie and the original version as the "Heavyweight" Sharpie. Today the Lightweight Sharpie is called the Australian Sharpie.

From 1960 to 1964 national titles were held for both classes. From 1964 the Heavyweight titles ceased and only the Lighweight Sharpies held national titles.  
Since the 1960's the hull shape has remained the same but is now built in fibreglass and the sail area has been enlarged, particularly with the introduction of a much larger spinnaker. Famous Sharpie sailors include John Bertrand,  John Cuneo and Jim Hardy.

The Australian Sharpie is still keenly raced in all states of Australia and there has rcently been a revival of interest in the 12 Sq. Metre Sharpies both in Australia and in Europe. 
The second Sharpie built in Australia, "Comet" has been undergoing restoration in South Australia and three 12 Sq. Metre Sharpies are currently sailng in Victoria (see photo
on right).        

 Click on the link for a list of
Australian Champions from 1937

              Click on the link for a detailed history of the
               12 Sq. Metre in Australia and an inventory of boats still existing  (conpiled by Peter White & Gordon Stewart.)    

For the latest news on Australian 12 Sq. Metre (Heavyweight) Sharpies go to: 
For news and photos of the European 12 Sq. Metre Sharpie go to:
"Falcon III" 1956 Olympic Silver medallist and five time Australian Champion.1952-1957
12 Sq. Metre Sharpie 2015 European Championships
"Eleanor Rigby" 1971/72/73 Australian Champion.
See Past & Future Events page for report on the round-the-bay sail
"Tintara" 1958/59
Australian Champion.
"Tintara" (below & right) on display at the SA Maritime Museum:
"New Statesman" 1965/66
Australian Champion
under reaching spinnaker.
12 Sq. Metre Sharpie on display at the
             WA Maritime Museum.
"Futura" 1962/63
Australian Champion
under ballooner spinnaker.
Lightweight and Heavyweight Sharpie.