The Thomas Hardye School

THS Student competes in China



Over the summer holidays I was fortunate enough to be given a grant by ITCA (International Topper Class Association) and the Chinese government to go and sail in the Topper World Championships in Shenzhen, China. Two years ago I was given a place in the RYA Topper South West Zone Squad and following this I was awarded a place in the RYA UK Intermediate National Squad. Sailing has taken me all over the country to sail in the National Series and Championships, from Lowestoft to North Berwick to Pwllheli .

This year Toppering has led me even further afield, to the other side of the world, where 260 competitors from 20 nations converged on Longcheer Yacht Club, Daya Bay, China. We all got to enjoy the amazing sights and experience the unique culture. Unfortunately, we arrived in the wake of a typhoon, leaving no wind all week, meaning we did not complete enough races to qualify a World Champion. After the championship, 90 families from Britain and Ireland went on a tour to the main sites in China. We flew from Shenzhen to China’s previous Capital, Xian, where we visited the terracotta army and did an amazing cycle ride around the city walls. Next we all caught the bullet train to Beijing where we enjoyed a wider range of food and also got to walk on the Great Wall and visit the Forbidden City. It was an incredible trip and something I will never forget. 

I’d like to thank the Chinese for being so welcoming and putting on such an amazing event with ITCA. I’d also like to thank all those who have coached and supported me over the years, especially at Castle Cove Sailing Club.

Ben Richardson




October 2018