The Canadian Shark Class Association (CSCA) is a member of the International Shark Class Association (ISCA), and is the governing body for Shark racing in Canada. Sharks are an officially recognized one-design class of World Sailing (formerly the International Sailing Federation – ISAF).
The Shark was designed in 1959 by George Hinterhoeller, then a 31-year-old Austrian émigré and Boatwright living in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Having grown up sailing light displacement fin-keeled boats in his native Austria, Hinterhoeller soon grew tired of the ponderous full-keeled wooden sloops that were common in the 1950's on Lake Ontario and wanted "a boat that would go like hell when the wind blew".
Hinterhoeller designed and produced his first Sharks, originally made of wood construction, in a shed behind his Niagara-on-the-Lake home. Fiberglass Shark production began with Hull #5 and drastically reduced the hull layup time from 128 to just 18 man hours per boat. The Shark quickly became a sensation on the Great Lakes and was also sold on the east and west coasts of Canada. Over 2,500 Sharks have been produced over the years by builders such as Hinterhoeller Yachts, C&C, Hallman, Shark Shoppe and several licensed builders in Europe.
Sharks have been a mainstay of the one-design sailing scene on the Great Lakes for over 40 years, and the class is as strong today as ever.