Topper sailing at 70° North!
Is this a record for the most Northerly Topper fleet?!
Two Toppers donated by Ian Proctor Designs arrived last week at their snowy destination in Lyngen, Norway - at 70° North in the Arctic Circle.
The idea to set up a Topper fleet in Lyngen was the brain child of Topper sailor Noé Schwoerer, who first sailed a Topper 4.2 at the Worlds in Medemblik in 2019. Since then, his father's TOPtoTOP global climate expedition has been working within the Arctic circle and witnessed first-hand the very real problems that Inuit teenagers in Eastern Greenland and Sámi youngsters in northern Norway face with a mental health crisis that effects many, as they increasingly lose their traditional ways of life through climate change and micro plastic pollution.
Noé's and Dad Dario's plan is to give the youngsters a healthier outlook and engage them in outdoor activities that could lead them into careers as sailing instructors, hiking guides and climbing instructors. Dario wants to teach Inuit youngsters to learn to sail to keep them in touch with their ocean environment. The Topper, with its green and sustainable credentials is the perfect boat for youth sailing and the Ian Proctor Designs saw the close fit between the projects ambition and existing Topper ‘Learn to Dream’ programme, where redundant boats from affluent nations are sent in their raw state alongside reactivation kits to partner sports clubs and foundations in developing countries.
The two Topper dinghies, one a 1980 reactivated boat and a second newer boat were shipped from Tilbury at the end of February and have now arrived safely in Lyngen. Despite the thick snow, Noé is keen to get out sailing this week and introduce some of the local youngsters to the delights of Topper sailing. Whilst the snow may still be deep onshore, the waters off Lyngen are warmed by the Gulf Stream and so remain ice free throughout the winter - although a survival suit is the recommended sailing gear for sailing in March!
Check back next week to see their first outing in the two Toppers at 70° North!