The Honda RYA Youth Rib Championship, sponsored by Honda and Ribcraft, is a National Championship in which 8-16 year old RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) drivers can demonstrate their boat handling skills in a race against the clock in the hope of winning a 4.8m Ribcraft or Honwave T40 for their club.
The event proved exciting for the many spectators watching from the balcony at the Centre, as 11-year-old Max Batson and 15-year-old Jamie Dawson – both from Lympstone Sailing Club – clinched decisive victories in the two age classes.
Max, a keen sailor and powerboater, beat Alice Taylor (11) and Milly Jinks (the youngest competitor at 10 years and 12 days) from Sea Regs in South Brent into second and third places respectively, with a time of 2:05:46. He said: “I’m very excited and happy, and looking forward to the national final – I must get plenty of practice in!” Milly held on to her third place by just one second, in front of team mate Emily Taylor.
Jamie, who has been sailing for seven years, and powerboating for four, triumphed over Callum Foster (15), from Plymouth and Devon Schools Sailing Association, and JJ Christopher (14), from Plymouth Youth Sailing, in 1:24:84. Ben Dixon from Plymouth Youth Sailing came in fourth by just one second.
Andy Felthouse, the event manager for the Honda RYA Youth Rib Championship 2012, was very pleased with this first event of the season: “There was a good mixture of abilities, some first time entrants and some seasoned powerboat drivers and the event turned out to be an exciting one. All of the powerboat drivers had been putting in some practice and this showed up in the results which were some of the best for a first event. It was encouraging for the event and powerboating in general to see such enthusiasm and commitment on a day which was not the warmest for the south coast! The Mount Batten Centre was an ideal venue off and on the water and all of its staff helped to make the event a great success.”
David Hodgkinson, Marketing Communications Manager for event sponsor Honda said:
“Honda strives to be "a company that society wants to exist", and so as a major manufacturer of engines and inflatables we are delighted to be sponsoring the 11th year of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship. Inspiring and encouraging young people to discover and pursue a passion for boating, is as important as giving them the skills to do so in a safe and responsible way. We are proud together with the RYA to be doing both through this unique competition."
The event moves inland next week for the West Midlands Regional Final at South Staffs Sailing Club.