Like many good ideas, Peter Harken’s decision to use plastic instead of steel ball bearings in his boat hardware was born of necessity. Little did he realize his invention would change the face of sailing.
By 1972, Harken blocks reigned supreme at the Olympic sailing events—34 boats at the '72 Olympic Games in Germany, and 106 boats at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Harken became the Official Equipment Supplier at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the ’92 Barcelona Olympics. The blocks were strong, dependable and exceptionally free-running. For many years, Small Boat blocks set the performance standard for Olympic and international champions.