Crew: 2 man crew.
Dimensions: 5.99 meters in length and ±230kg.
Sail Area: Main & Jib: 12.7 sqm.
Class: Restricted (hull shape remains the same from year to year)
Characteristics: Lightweight, high performance, two person racing dinghy.
Difficulty Level: Experienced
The 12 square meter Sharpie was designed in 1931 by the Kroger Brothers. The peak of the class was in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. To this day, the original design has been preserved, and the class is sailed competitively in the UK,Holland, Germany, and Portugal. The European Championships are rotated between these four countries every year.
The term 'Twelve Square Metre' evolves from the original sail area, though on modern sharpies due to modern sail designs has now reached to around sixteen square metres.
Past Australian champions to have passed through the ranks include Sir James Hardy, John Cuneo, Rolly Tasker and John Bertrand. Rolly Tasker won Australia’s first sailing medal at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne when he and John Scott won a silver medal in their 12 square meter Sharpie.
The 12 square meter Sharpie is one of the potential Vintage classes for the 2012 Vintage Yachting Games.
There are still a small number of original sharpies in Australia, though they have not been sailed competitively since the 1960s. In Australia, the original 'heavyweight' Sharpie has now evolved into the lightweight Australian Sharpie.