The Topper fleet is very active at RHYC with both juniors and adults sailing and racing these highly versatile boats!
This Winter we have the largest number of juniors in the RYA and ITCA squads with sailors in the RYA UK Junior Squad, RYA East Zone Squad and ITCA 4.2 National Squad within the UK.
If you are looking to join or want further information about this fleet please contact us and we will be happy to help!
Topper Nationals - Weymouth 2015
RHYC sailors formed a healthy contingent at the Topper Nationals at the former Olympic venue, WPNSA, which started on 2nd August. The wind gods came out to play and for all but the last day it was mid teens gusting to over 20 knots at times, which was enough to keep the regatta fleet ashore on Sunday.
James Deaton competed in the 48 strong 4.2 Summer Championship where over the six days they concluded 21 races, with James coming home 8th overall with several podium race finsihes.
Richard Townley was the youngest of the clubs sailors in the 5.3 fleet which comprised 191 boats which completed the full series of 16 races, but a solid mid bronze fleet performance throughout the qualification and championship series saw him finish 26th in that fleet and scoring a top ten finish.
Harry Wallhead, Piers Luxford, Ollie Dixon and Ashley Deaton, now the old guard of club Topper sailors all qualified in gold, RHYC being the best represented club in that fleet, joined by a strong East region representation. Harry went into gold fleet in 56th and with solid finishing improved his position to 50th. The others all gained the much prized ducks for top three finishes while the penultimate race saw Ollie lead the fleet, Ashley proving he could sail in light winds in second and Piers Third at the first windward mark - a target for James and Richard to match in future years. When racing had finished and the disguards had all kicked in Ashley was fifth, Ollie One point behind in sixth and Piers a further six points adrift in seventh and first youth sailor - remarkable close over so many races.
The next Topper National Series and squad qualifier is Rutland on 5/6th September.
Lake Garda Worlds 2015
A few club sailors made the trip to bask in the European heatwave at a very hot Riva del Garda for the Topper Worlds. As well at the usual GBR sailors they were joined by a significant Irish contingent plus home grown Italians, French, Chinese and South African competitors.
Depending on the weather the wind either blows straight up or straight down the lake, with occasional lulls between whichever pattern dominates. The plan was for three days of qualification and two of championship. The first three days worked as planned with three races per day with all the club sailors qualifying in the 63 strong Gold Fleet and all avoiding the plethora of protests, especially on day two.
Thursday dawned just as warm, but cloudy and with reports of rain further down the lake – this affected the weather pattern and whilst the fleet launched weather pattern was able to prevail so no racing took place. That led to a planned early start on Friday with a first race scheduled at 8.00am but thundery rain kept the fleet ashore until an more normal launch at about 11am. The wind gradually settled back into a normal pattern and three championship races were concluded.
Piers Luxford was top club sailor in 11th overall and showed great consistency in never being outside the top 20 places. Ollie Dixon was slightly less consistent and also suffered two gear failures ending in 20th, while Harry Wallhead was also very consistent and finished 45th
Lowestoft National Series 5 - 7th/8th June 2015
Perhaps the pressure of exams or maybe it was that the lure of Suffolk wasn't strong enough for quite as many as normal to enter the first major Topper event to be held at Lowestoft. There ended up with 134 entries in the 5.3 fleet and 27 in the 4.2 fleet. However being almost home ground RHYC were well represented as were a good group from the East Region
With a very warm welcome from the club, sunshine plus an offshore breeze on Saturday the sailors launched into a good 15 plus knots and more in the gusts. The tide caught a few lake sailors by surprise and the combination of wind and tide was too much for most of the 4.2 fleet who only managed one race on Saturday while the 5.3 fleet managed the programmed three in flights.
Ashley Deaton posted two firsts and a second to come in as overnight leader, with Harry Wallhead in 13th having posted 12th, 8th and 10th. Ollie Dixon missed one race with mast failure so was out of the mix despite posting a 5th and 3rd in the two he completed, while Richard Tawney was very happy in mid fleet.
Sunday dawned with the same glorious sunshine but less wind. In the first race for the 5.3's there was a wind shift when in sequence favouring those at the pin end and another during the race which mixed the fleet up significantly with almost all the front runners including Ashley posting their worst result of the weekend, but for Ollie he'd have to count that one. The last two races went more to plan with Ashley coming through with another first and second to win overall making him the second RHYC winner of a Topper National series event in 2015.
Ollie managed to pull back to finish 12th, Harry's consistency paid and he finished 20th overall and Richard also had his best result so far at such an event in 83rd.
In the 4.2 fleet of James Deaton managed a race win and several other top ten finishes to end up 6th overall.
Graffham Inlands - 2nd and 3rd May 2015
Ahead of the RHYC traveller over the Bank Holiday was the Topper Inlands at Grafham, one of the flagship ITCA events and as usual several club members made the trip.
Saturday was a blustery day with the wind starting at 12 knots from the east and building to over 20 knots by the time we came ashore after 4 races.
Sunday was less windy than forecast from the South but we launched into rain and about 15 knots to complete the 6 race series.
Richard Towney was competing in his first National series event joining a start line of 76 boats, but being a flighted event there 153 competitors in the 5.3 fleet. His results improved over the weekend and he finished 128th overall.
The regular club open competitors were out in force. Piers Luxford was this time 45th, Ashley Deaton 38th, Harry Wallhead 29th and Ollie Dixon 5th overall, all of them managing at least one top ten finish in the event.
The 31 strong 4.2 fleet completed 7 races and James Deaton was 7th overall.
Everyone then packed up and headed over to the club for the RHYC Topper and Tera Open on the Monday
National Series 3 - Queen Mary Sailing Club - 28th/29th March 2015
The third weekend in March saw another healthy contingent from RHYC competing in the Topper National Series event at Queen Mary SC, near Heathrow, battling with the rugby traffic and congested hotel bookings.
It was a weekend of contrasting weather, with Saturday a cloudy day and 15-20 knots of cold Northerly wind with bigger gusts at times. This took its toll on the fleet both in terms of cold and breakages, while Sunday was a true spring day of sunshine and much lighter winds. With such contrasting conditions everyone had their chance.
As the 5.3 fleet of 145 boats came ashore on Saturday Ashley Deaton was the overnight leader with three races completed, but it was very tight at the front and Ollie Dixon was sitting in 4th. Sunday saw a further three races with stiff competition from a cohort of East area sailors. When everyone came ashore Euan Harris in his second National series event had finished 76th, Harry Walhead posted a best race finish of 4th to end up 32nd and Piers Luxford finished 20th. Ashley was still posting good front of fleet results on Sunday but slipped back to 5th overall while Ollie had worked out exactly what he needed to do and kept Joe Drake from Royal Norfolk and Suffolk behind him in the last race to secure the event win, Joe only just holding off Dylan WW from Harwich Town and Ashley a mere 8 points off the podium.
In the fleet of 22 boats competing with the 4.2 rig James Deaton dominated Sunday's proceedings wining all four races and leaping up the rankings to finish one place off the podium in 4th overall.
Topper Winter Regatta - Weymouth
Various of the younger club sailors ventured to WPNSA on the first weekend in February for the first big Topper event of 2015 - the Winter Regatta
Saturday was bitterly cold in a strong Northerly wind which kept the sailors ashore until lunchtime before abating enough to get two races in. On Sunday and the sun came out which made it feel slightly warmer.
For the first time at this event there was a separate 4.2 Course and James Deaton was one of 21 sailors competing and came 5th overall with two race wins
In the 5.3 fleet of 140 boats Mike Deaton was in charge of the black flag on the start line which was unfortunately used for most of the races, although none of the club sailors got caught out. Both Harry Wallhead and Euan Harris suffered kicker failure which ruined their second race on Saturday but at least they could post that as a disguard. Overall the club 5.3 sailors finished as follows:-
Harry Wallhead 74th
Euan Harris 58th
Ashley Deaton 32nd
Ollie Dixon 11th
Piers Luxford 6th
The next Topper National series event is at Queen Mary Sailing Club on 21/22 March whilst the first of the regional Traveller series is at Hunts Sailing Club on Sunday 29th March which is preceded by a training day on Saturday 28th. The RHYC Topper Traveller is on Monday 4th May where hopefully a full contingent of club Topper sailors will be out.
If you are interested in joining the Topper Assosciation (ITCA) or want further information on the events they run in this area and nationally then click here: