20 June 2023

New International Topper rota-moulded polyethylene hull approved by World Sailing

ITCA World is pleased to announce that the new International Topper rota-moulded polyethylene hull has now been fully ratified and approved by World Sailing. The latest edition of the Class Rules that includes the few necessary updates to accommodate the rota-moulded hulls is now available on the World Sailing website here. The publication of the Class Rules confirms that World Sailing has now approved the new rota-moulded polyethylene boat as an International Topper and that sailors owning the new hull can compete equally with the original injection moulded polypropylene boats without penalty.

World Sailing's approval of the new hull, necessary after the terminal damage and un-economic repair of the previous massive injection moulding tool, was granted after the unanimous approval of all the active national International Topper Class Associations around the world. In turn, their approval came after the evaluation trials held in Portland Harbour at the beginning of June, which were attended by senior officers from ITCA GBR and ITCA Ireland. We would like to thank those sailors who helped us with the testing carried out at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy – Emily Shearer, Holly Norton, Ella Fitzgerald, Jasper Bramwell, Sam Morley and Cormac Byrne. Your contribution to the testing was invaluable.

You can watch the on-board footage captured and edited by Rhiann Bramwell, from the two-boat testing sessions, where paired sailors tested the upwind, downwind and reaching performance of the two hulls, together with speed of tacking. The results were noted before the helms were then swapped to see if the same result was repeated, to prove that any differences in performance were either due to the sailor’s style and technique or actual differences in boat speed between the hulls.

The independent report by the RYA Senior measurer David Chivers concluded,” Having watched for several hours all the pairs in the different conditions, I could not discern any difference between the boats themselves. Difference in individual sailing styles and techniques made far more difference. Following the very interesting, excellent organised and managed trials, I conclude that there appears to be no performance difference in the different manufacturing methods of the boats

The new hull was developed over an intense two-year period, in order that the hugely successful International Topper dinghy could continue to provide an ideal platform for youngsters learning to sail and for the competitive ones, a pathway into national and international racing.

Read the full announcement and letter of thanks from the ITCA World Commodore Bill Brassington here.

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