Thank you for looking at the ITCA (GBR) website. My name is Colin Bristow, and I am the current Chair of ITCA (GBR). This is the UK arm of the International Topper Class Association.
The Topper has been a mainstay of UK dinghy clubs for many years. International Olympic sailors have cut their teeth sailing a Topper. As a class we are very lucky to be part of the RYA Pathway. This provides us with part funding for high quality training for sailors – supporting their development as sailors for life.
As a class association, we provide a competitive racing series at venues across the UK. This allows the sailors to experience different types of conditions for both tidal and non-tidal sailing. Supporting the events is a great team of dedicated volunteers; providing on and off water support and advice for both sailors and parents alike.
Training and development of sailors is a key part of the class. We have ITCA (GBR) volunteer Area Representatives mirroring the RYA regions. They provide a mixture of open coaching and a racing series for sailors in those regions – all of which are available for entry through the ITCA (GBR) site.
Travelling with the Topper is a great way for parents to meet other parents from around the country, and also a great way for the sailors to make new friends. I hear many stories of friends meeting each other in later stages of their lives – for example when going to university, travelling or in their jobs.
The ITCA (GBR) is very proud of the achievements of ex-Topper sailors. Olympic Gold medalist Giles Scott first sailed a Topper, and winners of boats.com / Yachting Journalist Association Young Sailor of the Year award have also been Topper sailors.
Whether you want to play around at your local lake on a sunny Sunday, or join in some of the most competitive single handed racing in the country, you are very welcome to join us.
ITCA (GBR) has been around since 1976 and currently has several hundred members. We really enjoy our position as being regarded as The Friendly Class, not only amongst the sailors, but also shore-side parents and supporters who are always happy to help one another and promote good sportsmanship.
The engine room of our organization is our Area teams who organize top quality racing and race coaching at a range of inland and sea venues. The open coaching is available to all class members and will tend to be run on race weekends alongside an Area Traveller(One day racing, one day open coaching). In addition, training is often scheduled over the autumn and winter period, ready for the following season.
ITCA is run by a broad team, almost entirely comprising volunteers who form the national committee and the Area teams. It works hard to deliver our website, our magazine Topper Times, open coaching, squads, regional and national events. There is also an ITCA (GBR) facebook group that is widely used by members to share news, photos and items of general interest. We strive to get it right but if you spot an area we can improve or have a special skill we would welcome you as part of the team.
If you are interested in finding out more about Topper sailing, your local sailing club is a good place to start. The ITCA teams in each area will also be able to provide advice. All the Area Representatives can be emailed from the contacts page of this site, and coaching dates can either be found in the main Calendar or a specific Area page.
Alternatively contact the ITCA class secretary for general advice and guidance from the contacts page
About the Topper
The Topper is a single handed sailing dinghy ideally suited to Junior sailors and smaller adults. It enjoys the status of a British Youth Sailing Recognised Class, and is recommended by the RYA for Junior (U16) sailors. Take a look at the Topper in action here:
The RYA support a number of "Recognised Classes" including the Topper. Whilst it is predominantly sailed by juniors we have sailors of all ages at our events, including the occasional parent joining in.
Click to find out what makes the Topper Simply Sensational
The current suggested weight guideline for Toppers with the larger 5.3m sail, is between 47 and 63kg, but again there are many sailors either side of this guideline enjoying sailing their Topper and competing at a high standard.
The introduction of the smaller 4.2m sail has brought younger and lighter sailors into the Topper. We now have a dedicated National Championship for Topper 4.2 sailors, a World Championship, and a Summer Championship which runs at the same time as the 5.3 Nationals. All this means a fantastic introduction to Topper sailing before moving onto the larger and more powerful 5.3m rig.