Racing and Coaching FAQs

Do I need to do anything special to my Topper before I race?

The Topper is a strict One Design dinghy, so any boat of any age that complies with class rules can be used at any event. Before your first race, it is important to check that everything works the way it should. Replace frayed ropes and check all the screws and bolts are tight.

At major events like the Nationals and the Worlds, it is common for every boat to be "measured" to check that it complies fully with all class rules. This is to make sure that competition is fair and that it is the best sailors that do well. Even very old Toppers can be competitive provided that they are well looked after and well prepared before an event. It is certainly the case that a well prepared boat will work better than one that has been neglected. Look in the Tips and Technical section for more guidance.

Why does my age show as older than my current age on results?

The Class follows the system that the RYA apply for squads etc. This is the age you will be by December 31st of that year.

Why are tally penalties enforced so strictly?

Sailor safety is our key concern at all events. We need to know who is on the water at all times and allow no loop holes that could endanger a sailor. Going afloat without your tally band means that we wouldn’t be looking out for you in an emergency. More than 10 minutes unaccounted for in cold water would put you in serious danger hence the 10 minute rule for tallying off.

Our RIB crews are all volunteers and are not allowed to stand down until every sailor is accounted ashore. They will often have been afloat for 8 hours+ so the quicker sailors tally, the sooner they can come ashore and meet their own sailors.

Why do parents need to fill in a Loco Parentis Form in the Race Office if going off site?

As a Junior Class, parents are responsible for anyone under the age of 18 at all times. This means that a responsible adult must be on site and available to look after the sailor. Double check that the mobile number you gave when booking is still accurate for the event (many times a different parent attends at the last minute!).

The Race Format seems to have changed…why and how do I find out more?

The volunteers on the committee regularly review the racing format in response to requirements from the RYA (as we are an RYA pathway Class), input from coaches and feedback from Race Officers and members. We aim to deliver competitive and fair racing for all which meets the needs of all our members whatever their level of ability or age.

If you have any questions/comments on the racing aspect of Class activity, then do get in touch with our Chair, Sam Norton or Vice Chair (Racing), Sally Dugdale.

I am not sure about rules and/or what flag signals mean...

The racing section in the Info Zone of this website contains lots of useful info about class rules and a link to the latest Racing Rules of Sailing.

If you are in a squad then ask your coach for support on rules. Our Class Juror, Graham Louth is always happy answer any questions at National Series events that he attends.

These PDF documents explain the flag signals commonly used at our events so you will be able to check what they all mean!

ITCA (GBR) Signals Afloat

ITCA (GBR) Signals Ashore


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