Topper Sailing Class at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club
Topper Sailing at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club
The Topper is our main training and junior class. We have six club owned boats for members' use and a whole host of talented sailors coming through our Sunday Training sessions. There are usually IBRSC members in the various RYA training squads and we run regular coaching sessions for those who have advanced past the Sunday learn to sail sessions. The Junior Sailing School run on Sundays during the spring and summer, it is quickly over subscribed so if you wish to join click here to Learn to Sail a Topper.
Every year we hold a Winter and Summer Topper Open where we invite all Topper sailors from around the region to join us in competitive racing across a wide range of age groups. These days are hugely popular and we frequently have 50 to 60 boats on the water. In recent years our Summer Topper Open Event has been timed to be the Traveller Series decider and the selector event for sailors wishing to make the RYA's South East Topper Zone Squad. To support those sailors from making the jump from club sailing to the RYA Zone Squads twice a year we hold RYA open training at the club. These normally coincide with the weekends of our open meetings (we try to reduce the travelling burden on mums and dads).
About the Topper Dinghy
Designed by Ian Proctor in 1977 as a One-Design racing boat and with well over 20 years of continuous production (that's over 50,000 boats!) it is the outstanding build quality, durability and innovative design features that have made the Topper a very popular boat. 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!
Although the Topper was originally rigged with an aft mainsheet, since 2004 the option to use a centre main has been allowed. The motivation for such a change being that most other dinghies, including the ones Topper sailors are likely to advance to, are rigged with centre mainsheets.
In 2005 a smaller 4.2 m² sail was approved, which can optionally be used in favour of the standard 5.3 m² sail. The smaller sail is more efficient than a larger sail that is reefed. The first 4.2m² national championships were held in 2010.
Despite the longevity of the design, the Topper Class remains one of the most successful and fastest growing classes in the UK. The Topper class is a full ISAF International Class. Over 350 boats attended the most recent UK Nationals and Inland Championships. Every year there is also a World Championships - 200 boats competed at the Topper Worlds in 2011.
The Topper Class consistently has the highest turnouts at the RYA Zone Championships and the highest percentage of RYA Transitional Youth Squad members. Most 'GB Young Sailor of the Year' nominations in recent years have come from within the Topper Class. And the RYA Recognise the Topper Class as the most successful pathway class.