Royal Papua Yacht Club, Life Members



Peter Sharpe left New Zealand some years after 1936, when he was born, to work for Dennis Buchanan’s Territory Airlines in Goroka. This is where he learned to fly and to speak fluent Tok Pisin and he always spoke it during his announcements at the helm of his Air Niugini flights many years later.

He first arrived in Port Moresby in 1970 after residing in Mt Hagen for the previous four years, and not long after, joined the Royal Papua Yacht Club.

With no previous experience of sailing, Peter managed to get in a few sails on a number of yachts, mainly with a fellow Air Niugini Captain, Peter Wycherley on the Holland 25 “Scorpio”.

Peter decided to buy his first yacht “Tarka” and then proceeded to teach himself to sail, buying numerous books on the subject, and asking many questions around the bar from far more experience sailors, no doubt annoying them in the process.

Having been informed that he would learn far quicker by racing instead of idling, Peter gathered up a crew to compete in “A” Class series races.

“Tarka” being the smallest yacht was always last on-line and, many times, last on handicap. As to places in the “A” Class fleet, the most notable, a second in the South Pacific sponsored Yule Island Race.

Peter sold “Tarka”, and in 1985 purchased from New Zealand the Farr half tonner “Instinct” in which he campaigned very successfully, being the top yacht in Offshore Races in 1985-86-87-88-89 and winning other trophies for inshore races.

Peter was Rear Commodore of the Royal Papua Yacht Club in 1980-81; Vice Commodore from 1986 and from 1991. He was also awarded the Most Improved Yachtsman Award in 1980 and received the Yachtsman of the Year Award twice in 1985 & 1989.

He was Race Director for Coral Sea Classic for years and wrote the current rule book. Peter also starred in many a Yachtie Revue.

Peter received his MBE in 1993 Queens Birthdays Honours list for outstanding services to the airline industry.

Peter was awarded Life Membership of the RPYC in 1991 and left PNG in approximately 2003. Sadly, Peter passed away after a short illness at his home in the Philippines on 3 September 2009.

Lukim yu bihain Captain Sharpe.