The big three

We examine the three new dinghies on display at LIBS from Laser, RS and Topper
As ever it was only the big dinghy manufacturers that were at the London Boat Show last week. January pickings can at times be slim for the dinghy sailor - with the real ‘stuff’ held back for the Dinghy Show in March. This year was different however, with the ‘big three’ - Laser, Topper and RS - all having a new, or at least newish, boat to show off. To further add to the excitement all three boats from a distance appear very similar. A scratch under the skin, however, would reveal three quite different boats ranging considerably in price. First up it was the RS 500: In some of the promotional pictures (above) the RS500 did look quite a bit like a slightly modified RS200 with a trapeze. It was, however, a nice surprise when at the RS stand the boat was seen in the flesh. Immediately striking was how much longer it looks compared to the photos released and it was most certainly not just the modified RS200 we originally feared. The boat is probably best described in size and look as a modern, high performance, asymmetric Laser Two. As you look up the main looks like it is pretty big and looks very nice in Mylar with a big fat roach. The boat appears quite racy with low sides that give it a fast stealth-like look. On the stand the RS representative said that the RS500 is aimed at younger kids coming out of the RS Feva but also adult sailors wanting to sail a single trapeze asymmetric boat. This is something that the RS range has lacked up until now, unless you count the single trapeze option on the RS800. This seems like an entirely possible aim with the boat attractively priced at £4,995. Before the show the only