170 International Toppers from across Europe, Asia and North America gathered at Fraglia Vela Riva, at the northern tip of Lake Garda for the 27th edition of the Topper World Championships.
The entry would have been even greater if the 50-strong team from China had been able to travel, proving the enduring popularity of the Ian Proctor design. With many recent Olympians first making their name at the Topper Worlds, the championships are always an intriguing insight into the young talent developing in this gender-equal single-hander.
Lake Garda delivered classic conditions for Monday’s opening qualifying series – bright sun, 36° and the southerly Ora breeze arrived promptly at 12.30, building to a solid 17-18 knots.
After a wait of 3 years, the first wins at the International Topper 5.3 Worlds went to Bobby Driscoll, IRL (Ballyholme YC) in the Yellow flight with 3 straight wins – an impressive result matched by Leo Yates, (GBR, Island Barn SC) in the Blue fleet, who also chalked up three bullets. Daniel Palmer, (IRL, Ballyholme YC) finished the day with a consistent run of three second places, ahead of Ed Smith, (GBR, Chipstead SC) with a 3,4,3.
In the 24-boat strong Topper 4.2 Championship, Calum Pollard, (IRL, County Antrim SC) dominated the first day’s racing, with a 3,1,1 scoreline, 5 points clear of Amelia Smith, (GBR, Parkstone SC), with Thomas Semmens, (GBR, Brixham SC) in third and Daniel Agius of Vikings SC, Malta in 4th. Daniel was originally entered to race in the 5.3 fleet, but a twisted knee injury sustained lifting an 8-year-old sailor out of the water the previous week forced him to swap boats with a Topper 4.2 teammate, despite being the heaviest sailor in the Maltese team, as he would have been unable to hike fully in the bigger rigged boat.
For the full account, interviews and more please head over to the ITCA World Website.