You can't top Toppers for getting out on water

West Wittering Sailing Club have been able to give an increasing number of people a chance to try sailing for the first time thanks to the loan of several 4.2metre-long Topper dinghies from Topper International.

Friday, 18th August 2017, 3:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:24 pm
One of the WWSC Toppers

The addition of the dinghies to the club’s own fleet has enabled both children and adults to try out a boat without the pressure of a big investment has extended the opportunity for more families to become involved.

“This is a very positive story to tell about getting more families and children out on the water,” said West Wittering SC principal Ivan Western. “We’ve been able to attract families with younger children into the sport.”

Toppers are very popular at West Wittering SC. They are ideal for tidal creek where the club is situated, and there are almost 80 of them at the club.

Now the introduction of Toppers with smaller sails for lighter and younger helms has been a real eye-opener. For nine and ten-year-olds they are much easier to sail and bring upright if they capsize, and much more manageable than a full size rig even if it had a couple of reefs in it to reduce sail area.

Western said: “An added point of interest is that one of the boats we were loaned was actually 40 years old. It was previously owned by Roger Proctor, son of the designer Ian Proctor, and recently refurbished to a high standard. It has given lots of our Topper owners an example to follow.”

For further information on trying out a Topper at West Wittering SC, contact Ivan Western on 07843 206458.

To find out more about how to get out on the water and start your sailing adventure, visit


As next Monday’s first starts in Chichester Harbour Race Week 2017 loom close, it’s been revealed that sailors from more clubs than ever will be competing in southern England’s biggest dinghy regatta.

Competitors from the far north and south-west of England, areas which have been represented before, will be there. But when racing starts they will be joined by sailors from clubs in the Thames Valley, the midlands, northern home counties and points along the south coast that haven’t previously been seen in the harbour.

The number of clubs represented had climbed to more than 40, with total entries topping 160. At least that number again are expected to enter either online (until midnight on Saturday) or at host club Hayling Island SC as the week begins.

Will last year’s total of 401 boats be exceeded? No-one will know until the end of the week, for the flexibility of the event, allowing entry by the day as well as the week, allows last-minute decision-making.

The sight of more than 40 different designs of dinghies, racing in almost 20 different fleets, will be one of the greatest spectacles of the year on Chichester Harbour. The event, organised by Chichester Harbour Federation, has been a harbour feature for more than 50 years and combines a relaxed regatta atmosphere with competitive racing.

Full details are on


Entries are open for the seventh annual Bosham Classic Boat Revival, which takes place on September 2 and 3.

Regarded as the premier classic small boat event in the UK, last year’s event attracted 46 classic racing dinghies from around the country. This year there will again be five races over two days, using the full scope of Chichester Harbour, which should make for varied and interesting racing.

Over the past six years the event has attracted more than 50 different classes, totalling 342 entries and 700-plus sailors from around 65 clubs. Regular classes entering include the Alabcore, Chichester Harbour 18, Devon Yawl, Enterprise, Fireball, Finn, International 14, Jollyboat, National 12 & 18, Merlin Rocket, Yachting World Dayboat, & 12m2 Sharpie to name a few.

One of the highlights is the Concours d’Elegance. The hours of loving restoration bestowed on many of these classic racing dinghies is appraised by a judging panel who have the difficult task of choosing the one which, in their view, is the best and award it the coveted accolade.

Bosham Sailing Club will be delighted to see competitors and their families on the Friday and Saturday night, with supper and live music offered. Accommodation and camping pitches for competitors have been offered by some local residents, and there are local B&Bs available locally.

The event has been sponsored by Stride and Son chartered surveyors, estate agents, auctioneers and valuers, Haynes Boatyard and Pusser’s Rum.

For more, visit or email [email protected]

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