Two young South East powerboating aces will take on the UK’s best young RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) driving talent when they competes at the national final of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship at the PSP Southampton Boat Show on Sunday 15 September.
Medway Yacht Club’s Rowan Ellerby, 12, triumphed in the 8-12 years age-group at the South East Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship Regional Final at Bewl Valley Sailing Club in June to book his place in the national showdown.
He will be joined by 15-year-old Bewl Valley SC sailor, Theo Moverley-Smith, who overcome the challenge of his twin brother, Rupert, at the regional to land his grand final spot in the 13-16 years age group.
After a summer of regional finals across the UK, this year’s national final is gearing up to be a real nailbiter.
The final will see 28 regional champions - 14 in each of the respective 8-12 and 13-16 years age-groups - from across the UK race against the clock and put their RIB driving skill, control and speed to the test around the Championship course in a bid to secure the prestigious title of 2013 Honda RYA Youth RIB National Champion.
The course will involve tricky timed manoeuvres, including a high speed slalom, a stop exercise and a blast to the finish line, to test every aspect of the youngsters’ powerboat driving skills.
In perfect conditions and light breeze at the regional final, Rowan, who had never entered the Championships before this year, clocked 1:43.00 to complete the fastest 8-12 years’ time trial, while Theo edged out Rupert to claim his national berth by just one and a half seconds!
Now in its 12th year, the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship is Britain’s leading programme introducing kids to powerboats and training them to be safe, proficient drivers and excellent boat handlers. RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) are light, manoeuvrable craft and the boats driven in the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship can hit speeds of up to 25mph.
The finalists will be battling it out for a fantastic prize. In the 8-12 age group the Championship winner will receive a Honwave T40 RIB with a Honda BF20 engine for their club, whilst in the 13-16 age group the winner will receive a 4.8m Ribcraft RIB with a Honda BF60 engine for their club.
Whichever youngsters are crowned Honda RYA Youth RIB champions, they will also then take on representatives from the reigning champions, Parkstone Yacht Club, in a head-to-head showdown to determine the winner of the brand new Honda RYA Youth RIB Champion of Club Trophy.
Andrew Norton, RYA Powerboat Project Manager and Event Director said: “Qualifying for the national final of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship is a huge achievement. This year’s competition has seen exceptional talent out on the water and we’re expecting to see some fierce competition with some very exciting races at Southampton."
With the emphasis on swift, efficient and safe manoeuvring, the skills developed through the Honda RYA Youth RIB programme are not only a great chance for youngsters to experience the thrill of racing a small powerboat but are also invaluable in delivering a stream of well-trained young powerboat drivers to provide safety and support cover for sailing and windsurfing events and training courses, locally, nationally and worldwide.
Thanks to Championship sponsors Honda and Ribcraft. For more information about the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship visit www.rya.org.uk/go/hondayouthrib