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The Topper was designed by Ian Proctor and the plastic hull is made by an injection moulding construction. The polypropylene material has proved to combine strength and flexibility with lightness and virtually everlasting life. After well over 20 years of continuous production by Topper International Ltd. (approaching 50,000 boats!) this proven reputation has meant that boats hold their value well and it is not unknown for boats to be sold on a few years later for the same price you paid for them. The Topper requires little maintenance, is easily rigged in a matter of minutes, is rugged and safe for beginners and is an exciting race boat too as your skills develop and like the Mirror and Optimist is car-toppable so transporting a Topper is a simple task. The aluminium mast comes in two sections allowing the spars to be stored within the length of the boat (and easily transported by car), combined with a swivelling mast gate enables you to erect the mast single-handed. The standard 5.2sq m sail can be reefed around the mast to reduce sail area or you can use the new 4.2sq m sail.

Recently the 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 prefer to stay with the original aft sheeting arrangement - both configurations are accepted by the Class and regularly sail against each other. The ideal weight for sailing a Topper is said to be 51kg to 70 kg, but there is no ideal age-anything from 9 to 90. All Topper events including the Inlands, Nationals and the Worlds have been sailed by competitors in their 70's so why not join the fun!!!

For Junior members why not join in the fun at our Junior camp weekends held at various times from spring to autumn and for those Junior members wishing to improve their racing skills join in the racing or the club Topper Fleet events throughout the summer and autumn. For those wishing to improve further, Toppers race regularly in the DYS (www.dysailing.com ) events and we have a very active Midland training and race circuit organised through the British Topper Class Association (www.gbrtopper.co.uk ). The Topper is also recognised as an RYA Junior Development Class and is part of the RYA Performance Pathway that could one day lead to a place in the British Olympic Team.

So for more information on buying a second-hand Topper, how to rig and set up your Topper, advice on repairs and maintenance or how to get on the water either for fun, improve your sailing skills or to race, just contact your club Topper Fleet representative.