Welcome to the home of Topper sailing in the South East. We’re the South East area of the International Topper Class Association (GBR). The ITCA (GBR) organizes fabulous national Topper racing events, all around the country. On this webpage you’ll find out all about local Topper racing and training events, get advice about making your Topper faster, and find out what our sailors have achieved. All this is run by the parents of Topper sailors – take a quick look at our welcome pages for more information about who we are, the area we cover, what we do, and how you can join in.

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Huge thanks for Tony Rowe from the RYA Youth Training Fund for supporting South East topper sailors over the 2016/17 programme. Watch this space for coaching sessions!

Thanks again Tony!
from all at SE Toppers

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2016/17 Winter Training Dates

The 2016/17 Winter training dates have all been finalised, with Island Barn Reservoir SC hosting the training on Sunday 8 January after the Bloody Mary race at QMSC on Saturday 7 January.

To help continue promoting the Open Coaching training events, it would be appreciated if you could download the poster below and circulate it to your sailing club junior membership.

2016/17 Training Poster

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2016/2017 Squads Announced

Congratulation to all of the South East Topper sailors who have been selected to be part of the RYA and ITCA Squads for this year. Each squad will undertake a series of coaching weekends over the Winter and early Spring to prepare them for the racing season.

RYA Topper SE Zone Squad – Head Coach: Charlotte Bonnella

Aaron Evans, Adam Grimwood, Alex Head, Alfie Lester, Bill Hudson, Charles Close, Henry Koe, James Deaton, James Smaggasgale, Johnny Woolgar, Lawrence Donnelly, Leo Wilkinson, Maisie Bristow, Robin Stein, Samuel Brackley, Thomas Williamson & Yana Skvortsova

SE Sailors selected to the ITCA (GBR) Topper 4.2 UK Squad – Head Coaches: Charlotte Bonella & Lynn Billowes

Bjørn Handley, Cameron Sword, Harriet Sacker, Henry Koe & James Smaggasgale

SE Sailors selected to the ITCA (GBR) Topper UK Youth Squad – Head Coach: Sally Dugdale

Annabel Sumeray Josie Meredith, Liam Schiess, Lily Barrett, Maxi Tustain & Oliver Williamson

SE Sailors selected to the RYA Topper Intermediate Squad – Head Coach: Flip Foulds

Anabelle Esqulant & Finlay Swanton

SE Sailors selected to the RYA Topper Junior Squad – Head Coach: Natalie Lloyd

Coco Barrett & Scott Wilkinson

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2016/17 Winter Open Training

Winter Training dates for 16/17 are now listed on the SE Open Coaching page along with links to the ITCA booking site.  We have a session booked each month from November and are keeping costs at £25 per day.  If you would like to participate and are new to SE Toppers you can do the 1st session without joining ITCA.  If you have any questions about training there is lots of info on the SE Open Coaching page otherwise please contact me at “training.southeast@gbrtopper.co.uk”.  Please book early as places are limited.

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Topper World Championships

Congratulations to South East sailor Tim Hartnell from Lancing SC for an excellent 2nd place finish at the Topper World Championships at Ballyholme on Belfast Lough.


Tim Hartnell (left), winner Elliott Kuzyk (centre) and Sam Cooper (right). Photograph by Simon McIlwaine

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Eventful Hastings Traveller

Congratulations to Morgan Archer, Liam Schiess and Nial Schiess for surviving the very difficult conditions at Hastings this weekend to take the top three positions. All the sailors who braved the conditions deserve mention; well done to Anabelle, Tom, Charlie, and Magnus. The price: three broken masts, two ripped sails, and one or two hull scratches, but you’ll be talking about this one for ages!


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We’ve reached the two-thirds point in the VR 2016 Traveller Series, and Morgan Archer has a commanding lead. While he can still be caught, it’s looking increasingly unlikely. The remaining trophy positions are still wide open though, and any of half a dozen sailors could take second place once all the races are sailed.

The next two events are both on the sea – excellent practice for this summer’s Topper Nationals at North Berwick. See you there!

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Welsh Topper Champion

Congratulations to SE Toppers sailor Magnus Handley for his win at the Welsh Topper Championships at Llandegfedd.  His race report is here and there’s also an article at Yachts and Yachting.

llandegfedd2 - 1

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Success at Erith Yacht Club – Coaching & Traveller Days

Erith Club Sign

SouthEast Topper sailors had a fantastic two days of great sailing at Erith Yacht Club on the 23 & 24 April and the opportunity to experience the challenging water of the lower Thames with strong tides. Emma organised a great Coaching Day giving every one of sailors the opportunity to develop their sailing skills. A huge thank you goes out to Charlotte, Tom and Melissa for coaching 18 sailors of different ability skills.

The coaching day was followed by the 3rd in our Traveller Series. This was really well supported by 30 sailors, both from Erith Yacht Club and by visiting sailors from across the South East. There were four races, back to back in the morning, followed by a great late lunch.

The Mayor of Bexley, Sybil Camsey, joined the sailors at EYC to offer her congratulations to Morgan Archer who came 1st in the 5.3 fleet and James Smaggasgale who came 1st in the 4.2 fleet.  Magnus Handley came 2nd followed closely followed by Daniel Thompson in 3rd. Special awards were given to Alex Pavlov for ‘Endeavour’ and Daniel Wilding as the highest placed Erith Yacht Club sailor.

Erith Yacht Club Group with MayorLeft to right:- Commodore Jeremy Michell,  Alex Pavlov, Morgan Archer, Magnus Handley, Mayor Camsey, Dan Thompson, Daniel Wildling and James Smaggasgale.

We would like to say a HUGE thank you to Commodore Jeremy and members of EYC for hosting such a fantastic event. You made us feel very welcome on both days and gave so much support to all of the sailors on both days. We do hope that you invite us back again next year so we can once again support our young sailors to challenge themselves on your water!


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Book Nationals Coach Support as soon as possible!

Topper Nationals – August 2016 @ North Berwick – Book Coach Support Now Please find below some valuable information regarding  how you can provide some on the water support for your sailor at the Volvo GJW Direct ITCA(GBR) 5.3 National Championships  – if you would like to. Support this year is designed to be totally inclusive. The cost is the same for everyone and zones will be combined to make up approximately 4 groups, with up to 24 sailors in each group. There is a pre event coaching session available as well. To book your place – follow the link below and enter before May 29th: https://gbrtopper.ourclubadmin.com/?gbr
Who is this designed for and how much will it cost?

  • Zone squad sailors
  • Anyone who is not in any squad
  • £100 for the 6 days
  • £20 for pre event training on Saturday 6th August (open to 4.2 sailors who will have coach support as part of the event on racing days).

What are we offering?

  • Pre event coaching (Sat, 6th August) with our SE Zone Squad Head Coach (Charlotte Bonella), to familiarise sailors with the area of water and local conditions before the event starts, including on shore briefing/de brief.
  • 6 days of event support from a qualified coach, consisting of:
  • A group briefing each morning to discuss general issues of wind/weather/tactics etc
  • A rib on the water for sailors to:
    • Store spare clothing/food/parts
    • Offer help with on-water boat repairs
    • A friendly face to offer emotional support, get advice, chat to between races.
    • A group de-briefing every day after racing, a chance ask questions and to discuss any issues plus help with protests if necessary.

What are the benefits of paying for this additional support?

For many sailors this is their first time at a big event and 6 hours on the water can seem quite daunting in a fleet of 250 boats. Signing up for this additional help will make the experience more enjoyable for many sailors as they have the emotional and practical support on the water but also develop a friendship group on shore that will add to the fun of the week.

How to book a place These support ribs can only be booked on line via the usual ITCA GBR entry system. Initially, each area will look to provide its own Rib but in the event of demand being low in an area, sailors from a couple of areas may be combined (we will always ensure you are with the sailors from your area). Safety ratios mean that each rib/coach has a maximum number of sailors they can support so places will be allocated on a strictly “first come, first served” basis. If there are more requests than spaces available, names will be placed on a waiting list which will combine sailors from different areas and another rib and coach will be booked should there be sufficient numbers. We need to book and pay for ribs and coaches in advance so you MUST book your place on line by MAY 29th 2016 when on line bookings will close. Requests for on water support after this date must be made direct to your area rep and will only be accepted if safety/coach ratios allow and at the higher cost of £125 for the week and £25 for the pre event day.


(Thanks to South Area for this great write up – we know we just copied and pasted!)

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