The event saw young powerboaters from seven clubs across Northern Ireland compete in two age groups to win a place in the national final which takes place on September 16 at the PSP Southampton Boat Show 2012. In the 8-12 age group, Jenny Fekkes (12) from Ullidia Integrated College was more surprised by her victory than anyone: “I can’t believe I finished in first place! I am shocked but very excited about heading to the final.”

Youth RIB challenge cousinsMeanwhile in the 13-16 age group, Jenny’s cousin, Gary Fekkes (16), representing East Antrim Boat Club, roared his way to the top of the leader board in an unbeatable time of 1:01 minutes - and he is now desperate to improve on his second place finish in the national final last year. He said: “It feels great to have got through it and to finish first again. I am now determined to go one better in Southampton in September.”

With the emphasis on swift, efficient and safe manoeuvering, the Championships take the form of a time trial around a set of marks. The drivers with the fastest times in each age group then progress to the Southampton showdown and the chance to win a new Honwave T40 or 4.8-metre Ribcraft boat for their clubs. To keep up to date with progress or to find out more, visit