The re-vamped Topper Blaze is making its debut at this week's Southampton Boat Show

While there’s very little in the way of new dinghy designs at this week’s Southampton Boat Show it is interesting to see crowds flocking to the Topper stand to check out the ‘new’ Blaze.

Now six years old, the Ian Howlett/John Caig designed Blaze has been re-vamped in an effort to improve its performance. The basic changes include reducing the overall hull weight by 15kg, replacing the metal tubing on the sitting out racks with carbon fibre, adding a carbon fibre boom and refining the rig.

Although the boom is now positioned further down the mast, the redesigned sail allows the boom sit higher aft which ensures plenty of headroom for the helmsman. Also the original fully-battened sail has been replaced by a semi-soft sail (two full length battens at the head of the sail and two shorter battens further down) which, according to Jon Manners at Topper International, makes a massive difference to performance. “It’s made the boat much more controllable and is starting to appeal to wider weight range of sailors covering approximately 9-14 stone.”