The Fast Track to Success programme gave children between the ages of 8-16 the opportunity to practice their boat handling skills ahead of the Honda RYA Youth RIB championships and encouraged club volunteers to have a gain valuable coaching qualifications. The Honda RYA Youth RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) Championship is the RYA’s leading programme introducing kids to powerboating and training them to be safe, proficient drivers and excellent boat handlers, sponsored by Honda and Ribcraft.

Youth rib championshipAll four volunteers passed their RYA PowerBoat Instructor skills assessment and the children gained their Powerboat level 1s. There was also a full day of instruction in how to run a Honda Youth RIB Heat at a club.

Championship heat
The weekend came to a close with some friendly competition as everyone took to the water to complete in their own Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship heat. Joseff Round of Port Dinorwic was the fastest of the 8-12-year-olds, while Llandudno's Anna Lloyd showed the boys the way home in the 13-16 category. Ceri Roberts of Llandudno was the fastest volunteer.

The children can now look forward to challenging for the Welsh title in the Honda RYA RIB Youth Championships later in the year, with the chance to compete nationally in the Boat Show at Southampton for the winners.

Andy Felthouse, the Honda RYA RIB National Event Manager, brought the Honda RYA Youth RIBs along for weekend. He commented, “What a great opportunity for all Welsh clubs and centres to 'Fast Track to Success’ your Honda RIB Youth Championships participation.”

WYA North Wales development officer Ruth Iliffe added, “This was a great way of pushing the opportunities for powerboating through the Honda RYA RIB Youth Championship, while having a huge amount of fun along the way. We haven’t had a Welsh winner of the national championships since 2003, so hopefully this process will help to change that one day while boosting the profile of one of the most exciting sports around.”

Pilot project
This pilot project was aimed at developing participation in the All Wales Honda RYA Youth RIB Championships by developing the skills of club volunteers to enable them to run effective club heats and become Powerboat instructors in the future. It will also fast-track the skills of young participants to ensure the short term future of the event, perhaps even to produce a Welsh winner at national level.

Any club affiliated to the Welsh Yachting Association could take part in the two day event. The Project is a partnership between the Outdoor Partnership (Gwynedd, Ynys Mon, Conwy and Flintshire) and WYA.

The Youth championsip
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.

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." For more information about the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship, details on how to get involved and a list of regional finals scores see the RYA.