The Topper class is a great dinghy for beginner sailing and racing - it has a simple rig and is easy to sail, so it is also a very popular boat at the club.
The club has had much success with juniors in this class from national series winners and national Topper squad sailors.
Topper sailing on the East coast is very popular and there are multiple open events held around the area, for any stage of experience. However, there is also a national circuit held around the country with gives an opportunity for those with that bit more experience to race against one another. These events generally have a fantastic turn outs of around 150 boats.
Smugglers Trophy - 10/11th June 2017
James Deaton finished second overall in the Handicap Class to Bob Portway in a Phantom!
Breezy conditions with some strong gusts but some excellent racing.
Topper Open - 14th May 2017
The morning rain dried up and the dark clouds peeled back to provide a glorious day with a light to medium SW breeze for the 2017 Royal Harwich Yacht Club Topper Open. Some tight racing was seen from a sensible fleet of 12, with competitors having travelled from as far as Fishers Green and Milton Keynes.
RHYC’s James Deaton made the most of his local knowledge to win R1 by making full use of the tide, followed closely by Horning's Toby Pearce and Catherine Albone from MKSC. RHYC's Richard Townley and Fishers Green's Max Robinson both were caught off-guard by a strong gust, Richard entertaining the lawn by death rolling and Max Robinson collecting some Orwell mud as a souvenir on the top of his mast.
Another strong puff on the first upwind leg of the R2 mixed things up and left half of the fleet in irons, but this time Max ploughed through and put in a stormer to finish second behind Toby, Richard finishing third.
The tide eased off for the final two races and earlier tactics did not always pay. Waldringfield's Sean Woodard kept it simple sailing up the middle and pushed the top three
who swapped positions throughout both races, but finished in the same order - Richard, Toby and James, giving Richard two wins overall to pip Toby albeit on the same score after a discard, with James in third. Well done to Caroline Louth for unofficially winning “The Masters” category and illustrating the fact that that Toppers can be great fun even having exceeded the teenage years.
Particular thanks go to Race Officer Mike Clayton and Martine Clayton for stepping in at late notice to officiate, but also the rib safety crew and all of the competitors and their parents / come taxi drivers who made it possible.
Many of our Junior sailors have qualified for a place in the RYA Squad system, honing their skills before moving on to other classes such as Lasers and 29ers. The club has had a lot of previous success with the Topper class, in the 2014-2015 season five Eastern region boys gained a National squad place, three of which were from RHYC (Ollie Dixon, Ashley Deaton and Piers Luxford). All three boys achieved top 10 at the Nationals with Ashley coming 5th (3rd male), Ollie 6th and Piers 7th.
Ashley won the national series at Lowestoft and Ollie won the national series at Queen Mary. These great achievements meant Ollie finishing 5th in the national series and Ashley 6th! The boys have now moved onto youth classes with Ashley starting in the Laser Radial fleet and Piers and Ollie moving into the 29er class.
James Deaton has just qualified for the South East zone squad and is producing consistent top 10 results in regattas dotted around the country. James previously sailed the Topper 4.2 which was designed to allow smaller sailors a chance to have there own fleet instead of the larger 5.3 metre sail. He became the Topper 4.2 metre national series champion counting all firsts. Well done James!
However, Topper sailing does not always have to be competitive and the club provides Toppers which can be rented and simply used for the enjoyment of sailing.
If you are looking to join or want further information about this fleet please contact any of the individuals mentioned above who will be happy to help!