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Toppers at Stewartby Open 2005
|Hull weight||94 lb (43 kg)|
|LOA||11 ft 1 in (3.38 m)|
|Beam||3 ft 11 in (1.19 m)|
|Mainsail area||57 sq ft (5.3 m2) 45 sq ft (4.2 m2)|
The Topper is an 11 foot 43 kg (95 lb) sailing dinghy designed by Ian Proctor. The Topper is a one-design boat sailed mostly around the British Isles. It was recognised as a World Sailing Class. The boat is constructed from polypropylene, and is popular as a racing boat or for sail training. The class association (itca) organise racing events, which range from small travellers to major championships. The RYA run squads alongside the events; in these squads are talented young sailors who are given specialist race coaching.
Class history and design
The Topper was designed by Ian Proctor in 1977 as a One-Design racing boat. The Topper has been in continuous production for over four decades and over 50,000 examples have now been sold. The Topper dinghy is built in the UK, to the One-Design of Ian Proctor, by Topper International Ltd. owned by Martin Fry who purchased the company from Guinness Leisure in 1983. In 1977 the boat won the Design Council Award and the Horner Award for achievements in plastics.
The Topper dinghy is widely used for racing, but it has also gained popularity as a boat in which to learn how to sail. The Topper was originally designed with a glass reinforced plastic (GRP) hull making it a relatively light but durable boat, however, it was later decided that the Topper should be constructed with injection moulding, using polypropylene, which is less expensive but heavier and less rigid. Following this change from the GRP to the injection moulded Polypropylene hull, sales of the Topper soared.
Although the Topper was originally rigged with an aft mainsheet, since 2004 the option to use a centre main has been allowed. The motivation for such a change being that most other dinghies, including the ones Topper sailors are likely to advance to, are rigged with centre mainsheets.
In 2005 a smaller 4.2 m² sail was approved, which can optionally be used in favour of the standard 5.3 m² sail. The smaller sail is more efficient than a larger sail that is reefed. The first 4.2m² national championships were held in 2010.
In 2018, development began of a new 6.8m rig for the Topper 
Despite the age of the design, the Topper Class remains one of the fastest growing classes in the UK, with a very active national association. The Topper class is a recognised World Sailing International Class since 2005. The GBR Nationals and the World Championships often have over 200 boats.
The largest fleet is in Great Britain where the class is part of the RYA "pathway" class program with turnouts at the RYA Zone Championships and the highest percentage of RYA Transitional Youth Squad members. Most 'GB Young Sailor of the Year' nominations in recent years have come from within the Topper Class.
|Niel Marston (GBR)||Renee Smith (AUS)||Cameron Miller (UAE)|
|Robert Carver (UAE)||Tim Hulse (GBR)||James Grant (GBR)|
|Mark Heather (GBR)||Richard Peacock (GBR)||Andy Brooks (GBR)|
|Campbell Davidsion (GBR)||Chris Catt (GBR)||Steven Jackson (GBR)|
|Eifon Mon (GBR)||Craig Paul (GBR)||Thomas Dawbar (GBR)|
|Andrew Brown (GBR)||Bleddyn Mon (GBR)||Michael Wood (GBR)|
|Michael Wood (GBR)||Andrew Brown (GBR)||Freddie Connor (GBR)|
|Elliot Hanson (GBR)||Richard Cumpsty (GBR)||Jonathan Hewat (GBR)|
|Andrew BRIDGMAN (GBR)||Finn LYNCH (ITA)||Felicity FOULDS (GBR)|
|Michele BENAMATI (ITA)||Giovanni BENAMATI (ITA)||Edward JONES (GBR)|
Dun Laoghaire (IRL)
|Matt Venables (GBR)||Robbie Robinson (GBR)||Patrick Crosbie (IRL)|
|Giles Kuzyk (GBR)||Edward Higson (GBR)||Felix Crowther (GBR)|
|Liam Glynn (IRL)||Thomas Wallwork (GBR)||Georgie MCKENZIe (GBR)|
|Calum ROSIE (GBR)||Adam D'ARCY (IRL)||Tom WALKER (GBR)|
|Vittorio Gallinaro (ITA)||Patrick Zeni (ITA)||Niamh Harper (GBR)|
|Elliott Kuzyk (GBR)||Tim Hartnell (GBR)||Sam Cooper (GBR)|
|Scott Wilkinson (GBR)||Samuel Cooper (GBR)||Dan McGaughey (IRL)|
|insufficient races to produce a World Champion|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Topper (dinghy).|
- "Centerboard Classes-Inactive". US Sailing. Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- "Portsmouth Number List 2012". Royal Yachting Association. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- "2005 INTERNATIONAL TOPPER (5.3m2) and Topper 4.2 m2 CLASS RULES" (PDF). ISAF. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "Topper Dinghy". www.go-sail.co.uk. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "The Topper". www.itcaworld.org. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "The Topper". www.toppersailboats.com/. Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "Topper". minisail.prv.pl. Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "Topper 4.2: SAIL NUMBERS & NATIONAL LETTERING" (PDF). www.itcaworld.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "Online shop / Topper / Sails". www.toppersailboats.com. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- International Topper Class Association
- World Sailing Topper Microsite
- Irish Topper Class Association
- Great Britain Topper Class Association
- Topper Sailboats Canada
- Story of development of the polypropylene version of the Topper