In order to offer the best possible value to competitors at our events and coaching, ITCA (GBR) relies almost entirely upon the efforts of volunteers. As the Topper is now mainly sailed by junior and youth sailors (though we welcome adults too!), there is inevitably a continuous turnover of parents who are able to assist the class. There are always
opportunities to help at both local and National events – just contact any committee member or [email protected] to find out more – you will probably be surprised how much reward you can achieve from helping the friendly class.
Select an event below to be taken to its latest information and Event Documents
ITCA (GBR) needs your help in the safety fleet at our National events. If you would like to help support the ever growing Topper fleet, then our ribmaster, Andy Millington, would like to hear from you - contact Andy at [email protected]
Topper National Squad 2012 - Windy Weymouth
Topper Sailing at Hayling Island
Battling 40mph Gusts at Leigh & Lowton
The BBC Challenge Channel Crossing Video
Henry to the Rescue
Why the Topper class is renowned as the friendly class
and many more ...
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National Intermediate Squad 6
SW Traveller 4/12, Paignton
East - Traveller
North East Traveller 4/8 Yorkshire Dales S C
Midlands Traveller No.4
Southern Open Coaching
25 May at 1200
North West Traveller - Rudyard
SE Traveller No.4
Emsworth Slipper Traveller 3
Scottish Topper Traveller No3
SW Traveller 5/12, Portishead
Midlands Traveller No.5
East - Traveller
01 June at 0900
National 4.2 Squad 5
Southern Open Coaching
01 June at 1200
North West Traveller - Bolton
SE Open Training
SE Traveller No.5
08 June at 0900
Craftinsure Topper 5.3 National Series 2
08 June at 0900
Sailing Solutions 2012/13 Topper 4.2 National Series 4
Junior Development Squad 8
Midlands Traveller No.6
SE Traveller No.6
North East Traveller 5/8 Filey S C
Scottish Topper Traveller No4 & Scottish Championships
15 June at 0900
Sailing Solutions Topper 4.2 National Championships
National Junior Squad 7
National Intermediate Squad 7
SE Traveller No.7
East - Traveller
|Simple and Sensational|
Whether just messing about in boats, having fun off a beach, learning to sail, flat out blasting or competitive racing, there are so many reasons for choosing the fantastic Topper.
It requires little maintenance, is easily rigged in a matter of minutes, is rugged and safe for beginners and an exciting race boat too as your skills develop AND it is car-toppable. It truly is the most versatile of sailboats.
The Topper was designed by Ian Proctor whose other boats include the ever popular Wayfarer. It was originally constructed in GRP but this was changed quite early on to an injection moulding construction. After well over 20 years of continuous production (approaching 50,000 boats!) it is the outstanding build quality, durability and innovative design features that have made the Topper one of the most popular boats in Britain.
The Topper hull is injection moulded with incredible precision, reaching a level of uniformity quite outside the scope of any other production system, either hand built or mass produced in GRP or roto-moulded plastic. The material is polypropylene which has proved to combine strength and flexibility with lightness and virtually everlasting life. Because of this proven reputation resale values are extremely high.
In 1977 the Topper was awarded the Design Council Award and the Horner Award for achievements in plastics. The Topper is used in the Open University television programme to illustrate the principles of craft, design and technology, the development of injection moulding techniques and the handling and use of plastics in industry. Click here to download a paper that recounts the fascinating story of how two injection moulding machines were linked together for the first time to produce the Topper in polypropylene.
The two main mouldings of the Topper hull are fuse welded together to produce a robust single unit. Specially shaped polystyrene blocks are fitted at this stage to provide extra stiffness and enormous reserves of positive buoyancy in the very unlikely event of the Topper’s tough skin being holed. The hull of every Topper has a five year warranty proving that the builders have great confidence in it.
Clever design features include a clever swivelling mast gate that enables you to erect the mast single-handed. There is a brilliant rudder system that allows the blade to be set and locked in any position at the flick of a wrist. And the hull plate can survive the boat coming ashore at high speed with the dagger-board still down!
The aluminium mast is un-stayed and in two sections allowing the spars to be stored within the length of the boat. The sail has a luff tube which makes rigging really easy. The daggerboard is made like a rudder blade of a moulded polypropylene which never snaps. But it can sink, so you must tie it on...
John Driscoll an RYA National Sailing Coach wrote "The Topper dinghy has a unique place in the world of sailing instruction." He went on to say "It is hard to find a sailing school or holiday centre without a fleet of Toppers and here’s why: Topper’s cutting edge comes from her robustness, her simplicity, versatility and her ease of handling ashore and afloat. She’ll take all the knocks of a sailing day and bounce back smiling. Just like the students. She’s taken the fear factor out of the capsize drill. She’s made it easy to learn and fun to be with."
The ideal circuit racer
Because of the builder’s commitment to uniformity of hulls and specification of fittings and equipment, a Topper can race with any other Topper, older or younger, on equal terms. A true One Design. With full International recognition from the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the Topper phenomenon is spreading around the World.
The Topper racing circuit organised by the British Topper Class Association is thriving. Huge turn outs are commonplace at the major events such as the National Series, the Inlands and Nationals. There are over 90 open meetings at venues all over the country during the year too.
The Topper has been recognised as an RYA Junior Development Class and is part of the RYA Performance Pathway that could one day lead to a place in the British Olympic Team.
Hull: lightweight and car – toppable Hull Construction: injection moulded polypropylene
Sail Area: 5.2 sq m
Sail material: Dacron
Mast: Coated aluminium
Portsmouth Yardstick Number (2011): 1297
Capacity: One when racing but plenty of room for two when training.
Topper International Ltd
Kingsnorth Technology Park
Tel: 01233 629186
Fax: 01233 645897
E-mail: [email protected]
Recently the Class has adopted the option of a centre main-sheeting system with a longer tiller extension as an alternative to the established aft sheeting. This has made the boat more comfortable to sail for some sailors.
4.2 Topper Sail
A 4.2 square metre Topper sail has been introduced and is growing in popularity. It has been design specifically to enable smaller sailors to enjoy the thrill of sailing Toppers without having to reef the full sized sail.
"Hi my name is Tom, I sail a topper 4.2, I am 11 years old. I’m writing this story to try to encourage people around my weight (38 kg) to go into a Topper 4.2 rig rather than a full rig straight away.
The good things about 4.2’s are that in strong winds you will be going up the beat or along the reach and you’ll be laughing. You’ll overtake loads of full rigs because they’ll be upside down. On the runs you won’t lose any ground, as you’ll be going at roughly the same speed.
The bad thing is the light winds. If you get a good start you will get a fairly good race you’ve just got to stay in clean air and do good mark roundings. In a 4.2 you can’t head as high as a full rig in light winds.
Before I had my Topper I had an Optimist, I sold my Optimist after the 2005 Nationals in Pwllheli. I like the Topper better because it’s a faster boat. They are easier to right after a capsize because they don’t fill with as much water and have a self bailer.
In an Optimist you almost always have to wear a dry suit but in Toppers your doing more work, like playing with the controls, letting them off, putting them on, going round the mark, heeling the boat, leaning it to windward to bear away around the windward mark. This means I can normally wear my Roosters.
4.2s are generally faster than a reefed sail in strong winds and it saves damaging your full sail by reefing. When I’m older and heavier and need a full sail I don’t have to change the lower mast, like in Lasers, but just have to change the sail.
You don’t have to measure your boat at every event because Toppers are all the same - that makes competitions a lot less stressful.
My coaches have set me targets against other 4.2 Toppers, so as far as I’m concerned I am racing against other 4.2’s, but if I get past some full rigs that’s great!"