Welcome to the ITCA (GBR) website. My name is Sally Dugdale and I am delighted to be the current chairman of the UK arm of the International Topper Class Association.
As you may be aware, the Topper has been introducing people to sailing, for over 40 years. Initially designed as a family fun boat, the Topper has also been competitively raced from day one. Nearly 50,000 of these robust, low cost sailing dinghies have been produced, and they can be found at most sailing clubs around the UK.
Olympic Gold medalist Giles Scott cut his teeth in Toppers; and the last 2 winners of the boats.com/Yachting Journalist Association Young Sailor of the Year award (Eleanor Poole in 2015, Elliot Kuzyk in 2016) were Topper sailors. So we must be doing something right!
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.
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, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.