Powerboat victory for Harry and James
Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship
It was victory for Harry Chung, aged 12, and James Rocha-Sharp, aged 14 at the weekend’s Honda RYA Youth RIB Championships at Bewl Valley Sailing Club on Saturday (04 August).
They were amongst eleven young RIB drivers, the youngest aged only 8, from around the Kent, East & West Sussex and South London who gathered at the Club to compete in the event. As winners, the pair will qualify to go through to the National Final which will be held at the PSP Southampton Boat Show on September 16.
Harry’s win was all the more impressive as he had only started learning to drive a RIB this year. He was selected by his club, the Medway Yacht Club, following club training. Harry said: “I’m very excited but a little nervous! If I could come in the top three I would be very happy.”
James, aged 15 has been driving RIBs at his club, also the Medway YC. Although this was his first Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship he has been driving RIBs for a number of years.
“I’ve achieved my aim of getting to Southampton,” he said. “So any further success is going to be a great bonus!”
Spectators at Bewl Valley had a great view of the race course, which was set out in front of the club house. The young drivers, in the two age groups: 8-12 and 13-16, were put through their paces, demonstrating various manoeuvring and speed skills against the clock. A stiff breeze made conditions a little testing, especially on the stop and reversing exercises.
Sophie Eldred, aged 11, was only 1.5 seconds behind Harry, putting her in a very close second place in the younger group, while Harry’s twin brother Sam was third. Chris Bailey, aged 16, beat Katja Ward, 13, into second place in the 13-16 group.
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”.
Thanks to Championship sponsors Honda and Ribcraft. For more information about the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship, details on how to get involved and a list of regional finals scores visit www.rya.org.uk/go/hondayouthrib