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Burghfield Sailing Club
Hangar Road
Berks RG7 4AP

01189 303 604



Topper Class

Welcome Burghfield Topper Sailors

Whether just messing about in boats, having fun off the beach, learning to sail, flat out blasting or competitive racing, there are so many reasons for sailing the Topper. It requires little maintenance, is easily rigged in a matter of minutes, is rugged and safe for beginners and an exciting race boat too - and it is car-toppable.


2015 Topper 4.2 Southern Area Championships

The 2015 Topper 4.2 Southern Area Championships will take place at Burghfield Sailing Club on 22 August 2015

Pre-registration is available until midnight on Thursday 20th August with pre-registered boats benefitting from a reduced entry fee. Entry fee is £10 if pre-registered (no requirement to pre-pay), £15 on the day.

Please see the Open Meetings page for further details and registration form.

Topper at Club

Club Racing and Coaching

For Sunday racing at the club the Topper competes in the slow handicap fleet. You will often see them taking part, especially during the Spring, Summer and Autumn series - they are easily spotted by their multi-coloured sails.

If you are interested in racing at the club, then come along on a Sunday or during the summer on a Wednesday evening when pursuit racing also takes place, and have a chat to some of the other sailors who are always pleased to help you get started. We have both adults as well as junior and youth sailors who compete regularly.

An excellent guide to club racing can also be found here.

If you would like more information about Toppers at the club, then e-mail

Topper Open Racing

Open Events

If you are also looking to race outside club, then the racing scene, organised by the International Topper Class Association of Great Britain - ITCA (GBR), has never been more vibrant with huge numbers competing at the major events. There is racing all around the British Isles at every possible level.

The Area Traveller Series are ideal when you want to explore beyond BSC. In each region there is an Area Championship that usually attracts some sailors from further away. BSC is located in the ITCA (GBR) Southern Area.

For those looking to travel further afield there is a series of National Traveller events spread around the country. These are big events where you can compete against 150-200 other sailors with excellent prizes to be won!

The Topper Inland Championship is held at Grafham Water SC over the first bank holiday weekend in May each year and has had over 260 competitors for the last couple of years. It is a wonderful event to take part in.

There is week long National Championship usually at the beginning of August (in 2010 this is in Pwllheli, North Wales) and a World Championship (in 20109 this is in Lake Garda, Italy).

Open Coaching

As well as organising the racing calendar, ITCA (GBR) arrange a comprehensive programme of open race coaching in all their areas. These are designed for anyone of any age who wants to learn how to race their Toppers faster!

RYA Performance Pathway

The Topper is one of only two junior classes to be awarded the top tier 'Pathway Class' status by the RYA. Young sailors can aspire to gain selection to both the RYA Topper Zone Squads based around the country and then onto the RYA National and Intermediate Junior Squads which can lead to a route into Youth squad selection and beyond along the RYA Performance Pathway.

According to the RYA, the Topper has recently been the most prominent feeder of the Youth programme and has been sailed by numerous members of the Team GBR squad, many of whom have gone on to compete at international level and in the Olympics.


ITCA (GBR) Racing and Training Calendar

The ITCA (GBR) website has all the information about Toppers and the various National events.

The Southern Area events and open coaching are also posted on the ITCA (GBR) website.

The Topper Events page on this website also contains the list of National and Southern area events and coaching that should be of interest to Burghfield Topper sailors.

Racing Rigged Topper

Topper Developments

Following a lot of involvement from Dave Cockerill, the Topper RYA National Coach, the Topper class has adopted the option of a centre main-sheeting system with a longer tiller extension as an alternative to the established aft sheeting. This has made the boat more comfortable to sail for some sailors, whilst others are staying resolutely with their original aft sheeting arrangement - confirmation that the rigorous testing process carried out to ensure that no competitive advantage would be gained was worthwhile.

The class rules now allow multi purchase kicker, downhaul and outhaul, amongst other changes, making the boat easier to tune to different wind conditions and points of sail, and making it easier for lighter sailors to de-power in strong winds. The spars have also been simplified, replacing some of cleats and hooks with webbing to better spread the loads. All of these changes can be done retrospectively to any Topper and to make it even easier, kits are available from Topper and other suppliers.

A new sail design has also been introduced that makes the boat more responsive upwind and an alternative 4.2 sq m sail is now available for lighter helms. The 4.2 sail is generally faster than a reefed sail in strong winds and it saves damaging the full sail by reefing.

The photo on the right shows a Topper fully rigged for racing with the multi purchase contols and centre main.

Created on 02/12/2006 09:23 AM by Ian Bullock
Updated on 02/08/2015 09:22 AM by Sharon Bullock
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