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About Robert

The seas were high and so was the wind noise, spray everywhere.

We were crossing Investigator Straight between Kangaroo Island and Port Vincent in St Vincents Gulf, in late 1988, in NIS 23 Charlie Fisher, a boat that was only weeks old, and largely new to me.

The conditions were at variance to the forecast.

It felt pretty brisk all right, but were in no danger. The boat itself was quiet and handled the somewhat spectacular conditions well.

As we dried out the next morning, bow run up on Port Vincent’s dry beach sand, a yachtsman rowed past.

“There’s a rumour you guys sailed from Kangaroo Island, yesterday?”

“Yep”, we said.

“Some boat!”

“What do you mean?”

“It was gusting 60 knots all day out there. None of us would dare be out in that.’


Since then Robert and many others have successfully raced and cruised their Norwalk Islands Sharpies in big water all around Australia, and other parts of the world.

The Norwalk Islands Sharpies do well at any time, but seem to shine in extremes. In light airs they will ghost to the front of many racing fleets, and when the going gets really wild, and others are broaching, with sails flapping and crews yelling the Norwalk Islands Sharpies sail through, light of helm and well mannered.

Robert’s most significant demonstration of this was voyaging across the notorious Bass Straight and down to Hobart, and the later return, with his friend Ian Phillips in 2007.

4 gales later, and many hundreds of miles confirmed much of what many by now already knew.

The Norwalk Islands Sharpies really are, properly set up and handled, very safe boats that can save your life in a hard chance, and a delight for easy cruising in lighter conditions as well.

Robert has been given the honour of managing and developing Bruce’s Norwalk Islands Sharpies range worldwide.

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