For many kids growing up, sports revolve around early morning soccer games and afternoon tee ball practice. For the Toppa sisters, sports (and life in general) always revolved around the water. “We started sailing Optis when we were six years old at the yacht club in Ft. Lauderdale,” Liza told us. “Then we got competitive and we were sailing all the time.” From then on, it was life on the water.
It’s no surprise when you think about it. The Toppa’s father, Mike, is a former America’s Cup racer and a lifelong sailor himself. “We started homeschooling for middle school, and after that we were just traveling and sailing,” Liza recalled with a laugh. “We spent a lot of time in Italy sailing, then we grew out of the Opti and moved to the 29er, and that’s kind of where Alie and I were successful. We qualified for ISAF Youth Worlds and went to Malaysia for that.”
Now accomplished collegiate sailors at College of Charleston, the Toppas get out on the water whenever they can, whether from their winter port-of-call in Ft. Lauderdale or from their summer home base in Newport, RI. “We like to do anything with the water,” Liza tells us. “Alie is really big into kitesurfing recently, and we both surf whenever we can. If we’re not sailing, we’re either surfing or kitesurfing or something like that. Just anything on the water.”
Recently, they got to unplug a little bit and spend some quality time on the water with family. “This summer our whole family chartered a boat and sailed around New England—we went to Cuttyhunk, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket—just spent a couple nights everywhere,” Allie told us. “It was fun cruising with family. When we get a chance to relax on a boat, it’s so special, because it’s so different from racing.”