THREE Dorset sailors have travelled to China to compete in the Topper World Championships, the first time that the Topper Worlds have been held outside Europe.

ITCA, the International Topper Class Association, has provided funding to help Benedict Richardson of Castle Cove Sailing Club, Weymouth and George Vincent and Tom Peacock of Parkstone Yacht Club and to travel to China and compete on a truly international stage.

More than 260 Topper sailors from 20 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, USA, Vietnam, Germany and China have converged on the Longcheer Yacht Club Sailing centre to take part in the week- long championships.

Vincent has just completed the 17/18 UK National Series in fourth place and Peacock and Richardson are steadily climbing the ranks, benefitting from their time in the UK Topper Intermediate squad.

The 2018 Worlds is expected to be watched in China by 10s of thousands with live streaming, drone mounted cameras and big screens promising America's Cup style coverage of the racing.

More than 90 families from the UK are making the most of this amazing opportunity and also taking time to visit the sites in Hong Kong and China, including the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall.

All the travel arrangements for this event have been organised by Helen Vincent, an experienced travel counsellor and Parkstone Yacht Club member.

A spokesman said: "We would like to wish George, Tom and Benedict the very best of luck at the event."