The talents of the UK’s most promising young
sailors, windsurfers and powerboaters were celebrated on 6 March 2016 as the
winners of the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards were revealed at the RYA
Suzuki Dinghy Show.
The awards were presented at London’s
magnificent Alexandra Palace by British
Sailing Team’s Giles Scott, three times Finn World Champion, in
recognition of the outstanding achievement and performance of young people
across the range of activities the RYA represents.
Ben Jelf of Stewartby Powerboat and Hydroplane Club was presented as the
Eastern Region Champion, one of 11 regional winners from across the UK.
Ben was selected as a winner by the RYA eastern regional committee. Since
2011 he has held numerous speed records and won a whole string of championships
at national and international levels.
In nominating Ben his club said of him: “2015
saw Ben secure his 10th and 11th British Powerboat Racing Championships in just
five years of racing. Throughout the Powerboat GP British GT30 campaign and the
Powerboat GP British GT30 Sprint Campaign Ben remained dominant and finished
the season taking a Grand Prix win at every event. He also made a huge step up
to campaign in the F4 Catamaran class where he competed as the youngest racer
in the fleet.
“In addition to his achievements on the water
Ben has also helped mentor the two younger members of the Jelf racing team and
other youngsters in the sport. He has provided advice and encouragement as well
as assisting pit crewing for them and for his dad during races.
“At the Nottingham International event whilst
many of the younger competitors were having fun Ben rallied two other
youngsters into helping him put up banners, signs and flags for the organisers,
helping the event to be a success.
“Ben is a credit to his family, team, club and
sport and despite not having the desired outcome at the international event
this year he took defeat like a true champion, proudly congratulating those who
beat him and encouraging his team mates and the other British competitors in
their challenges for international glory.”
Ben said of the award: “To see the calibre amongst the other RYA Youth
Champions and their achievements for the year and to have shared a stage with
some of our Olympic hopefuls was a tremendous honour for me. Securing my
10th & 11th British Championship was a hard challenge
as the standard of competition in the sport is increasing amongst the younger
generation and we’re all pushing each other every step of the way. Because
we’re a relatively small sport compared to sailing and windsurfing it always
means so much more to you when you receive an accolade like this.”
RYA Sport Development Manager Duncan Truswell commented: “At the RYA we
believe it’s really important to recognise people on every level and these
youngsters are all so passionate about their sport and they all put in the
extra effort. Of course, all this wouldn’t be possible without the
support of their parents, guardians, coaches, trainers, club officials and
friends. Our congratulations go to all the worthy Regional Youth Champion
winners – some of them are undoubtedly the rising stars of the future and I’m
sure many may indeed follow in the footsteps of our successful Olympians, world
champions and record breakers.”
For more information on the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards visit youthchampion
For more about Stewartby Powerboat and Hydroplane Club