Please select your home edition

55th European Sharpie Championship to be hosted at Itchenor Sailing Club

by Rachel Soothill 5 Aug 2019 11:35 PDT 18-24 August 2019
European Sharpie Championship fleet © Event Media

This August 18th - 24th sailors and crew, with their families and supporters from across Europe will join forces with UK Sharpie Sailors at Itchenor Sailing Club for the 55th European Sharpie Championship.

The sailing will take place in Chichester Harbour, and the surrounding waters of Bracklesham Bay and Hayling Bay.

There will be a series of ten races and a great social programme with each competing nation hosting a themed evening, including a British Night, Dutch Pancake Night and more during the week culminating in a prize giving ceremony.

The 2019 Championship is being sponsored by Alan Boswell Group, Anglian Country Inns, Kraken Travel, Hilltop Outdoor Centre and Portal Comms.

The Sharpie class of boat is now sailed in the UK in Brancaster Staithe, Burnham Overy Staithe and Wells-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk. It is also re-emerging on the South Coast and in Europe in Holland, Germany and Portugal. The European Championship takes place each year and rotates between the four countries.

Sharpies - A brief history

The International 12 Square Metre (sail size) Sharpie is a classic wooden sailing boat - Initially designed as a fast two man racing dinghy, which is also suitable for day cruising.It has shallow draught and a gaff rig and is capable of standing reasonably heavy weather. Apart from toe straps, sitting out aids are not permitted.

The Sharpie was originally designed in Germany by Herr Kroger in 1931. After winning a design competition, the boat gained instant popularity both at home and abroad as an affordable but exciting class of boat with a good speed. The boat was used for German Officer training in the pre war period on the lakes of North Germany.

The first eight boats in the UK were brought into Kings Lynn Docks, Norfolk, in 1934 in Mahogany Boxes. They were then sent in pairs to different sailing clubs around the country including Barnt Green Sailing Club, West Midlands and Ouse Amateur Sailing Club, Kings Lynn.

The Sharpie class continued to grow and was chosen as a Class for the Melbourne Australia Olympics in 1956 - in fact, Brancaster Staithe based 'Chuckles' GBR 63 won a bronze medal in the 1956 Olympics and has now been lovingly restored and will be sailing in the 2019 Championship.

Althoughmost boats are in excess of 60 - 90 years old, they are all magnificently restored and maintained. Each one carries its own history, something lacking in modern boats. There is a great sense of pride in preserving something, which has survived so long. Most sailors spend as much time maintaining the boats as sailing them.

A great supporter of the Sharpie, Janet Sanderson from Brancaster Staithe built her own Sharpie with her father - Fortuna - It was Janet who had the initiative of organising the first European Championships back in 1964 - making contact with Sharpie enthusiasts in Holland, Germany and Portugal. The 1964 Championship was held in Brancaster Staithe.

A Growing Fleet

This annual event has grown into a sailing extravaganza over the years with hard and fast competitors sailing for the European title. This year there are so far 42 competing Sharpies.

Interest in Sharpie racing is certainly growing again with a host of young sailors partaking and enthusiastic yachtsman from around the UK and Europe taking on many Sharpies as restoration projects. Several Sharpies have changed hands over the past 12 months and a top condition boat for sale is becoming difficult to find.

James Nunn, Sharpie Fleet Captain said: 'Once the magic of a Sharpie enters your lifestyle you become part of it for a very long time, there's nothing that can compare.'

Chris Gibbs, Sharpie Sailor said:'There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a fleet of Sharpies sailing together and is ultimately the reason us Sharpie sailors are members of BSOA (British Sharpie Owners Association) which helps preserve the Sharpie class we all love.'

To find out more please visit and or call 01243 512400.

Related Articles

Tasmanian Championships at Royal YC of Tasmania
Sailing history was made on the River Derwent today Sailing history was made on the River Derwent today as crews and individual sailors raced for their Tasmanian championships in International Dragons, Sharpies and Lasers. Posted on 15 Mar
Sharpies flying in Tasmania
It is a thrilling boat to sail and can race in almost any breeze This weekend's Banjo's Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta will see seven 'Lightweight Sharpies' entered in the off-the-beach class. Posted on 14 Feb
SA Sharpies announces new travel grants program
The Sharpie class already has a great track record around supporting junior entrants The South Australian Sharpie fleet has announced a new travel grants program to incentivise more sailors to attend their national championships, which often has significant costs associated with it. Posted on 8 Nov 2019
55th European Sharpie Championship overall
A range of conditions all week for the 40 strong fleet The forty strong international fleet have experienced a range of conditions this week - starting with blustery Monday, through near perfect Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to a light airs Friday. Posted on 25 Aug 2019
55th European Sharpie Championship day 4
Another perfect day for international racing in Hayling Bay The forty strong fleet enjoyed another perfect day for international racing in Hayling Bay. The wind was steady in the South West, building from an initial 10 knots to an enhanced 15 to 18 knots. Posted on 22 Aug 2019
55th European Sharpie Championship day 3
The wait for the sea breeze was worth it The wait for the sea breeze was worth it. When it came the Southerly wind of about 10 knots provided another perfect day for the 40 strong international fleet of Sharpies. Posted on 21 Aug 2019
55th European Sharpie Championship day 2
The fleet of 40 boats have a great day in Hayling Bay After Monday's blustery conditions that proved too much for some of the crews, today's conditions could not have been more perfect. So good were they that race officer Peter Taylor decided to take the fleet of some 40 Sharpies into Hayling Bay. Posted on 20 Aug 2019
British Sharpie Championship at Wells
Host clubs shows customary hospitality, afloat and ashore Wells Sailing Club proudly hosted the 2019 British Sharpie Championship, showing their customary hospitality, afloat and ashore. Posted on 10 Jun 2019
Something for everyone
Itchenor Sailing Club launches a packed season Itchenor Sailing Club in Chichester looks set to enjoy yet another busy season, which includes the introduction of a new class for beginners and the launch of an experimental pay-as-you-sail initiative for non-members. Posted on 7 Mar 2019
SA Summer of Sail Launch Regatta in Adelaide
Adelaide turns on breeze and swell for the weekend It was on for young and old on the final day of the SA Summer of Sail Launch Regatta at Adelaide Sailing Club on Sunday with massive swells and winds consistently more than 25 knots giving sailors plenty of excitement. Posted on 4 Dec 2018
Gul 2020 FOOTEROfficial-Collection-Red.alt1  728x90 BOTTOMZhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom FOOTER