A 12-year-old Codsall national champion powerboater was all smiles as she was presented with a brand new RIB and engine for her sailing club, South Staffordshire SC, thanks to her Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship heroics on Sunday (8 October).
Aga Czartolomna triumphed in the 8-12 years age group at the national Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship final at the Yachtmarket.com Southampton Boat Show last month, and her prize for lifting the trophy was a Honwave T40 RIB with a Honda BF20 engine, thanks to sponsors Honda and Highfield.
This was the first national title the Codsall Middle School pupil had won, with her 16-year-old sister Kamila also becoming the first person to claim four Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship crowns at Southampton. Kamila won the 2017 perpetual Champion of Clubs Trophy - an annual head-to-head between the new 13-16 champion and the previous year’s winner - for the second time to add to her two national 13-16 years age-group titles.
The sisters’ success means that since 2014, South Staffs SC have won three new state-of-the-art RIBs to not only keep training the young powerboat drivers of tomorrow but to support the club in providing opportunities for even more local people to get into sailing and sail regularly on Gailey Reservoir.
Aga was presented with South Staffs' latest powerboat addition by Andrew Norton, RYA Powerboat Projects Manager, and Benn Freeman, Honda RYA Youth RIB Event Manager.
James Croxford, South Staffs SC Commodore, said: “Kamila and Aga’s success has been a massive inspiration to all club members, but particularly to the juniors seeing the girls driving these boats so proficiently. It has also inspired the girls themselves, Kamila wanting to go on to become a powerboat instructor and Aga wanting to follow in those footsteps in due course as well.
"I was lucky enough to go down to the final in Southampton and it was a superb event with a great atmosphere. I was getting so many messages from people at the club asking how the girls were getting on. Their success has created a great feel-good factor around the club with everyone getting behind the Championship. Being able to have a fantastic celebration day gives everyone a real buzz.”
Benn continued: “Over the past year it’s been great going to 13 regional finals and seeing all the kids driving the RIBs really well. But it was business as usual at the national final as the sisters again showed how good they are. Aga's was a really good drive and when Kamila came out on top as well, it was great to see these two young people show that the hard work their club has put in over the past few years is paying off.”
Now in its 16th 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 are light, manoeuvrable boats and those driven in the Championship can hit speeds of up to 25mph.
With the emphasis on swift, efficient and safe manoeuvring, the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship involves tricky timed manoeuvres, including a high-speed slalom, stop exercise and a blast to the finish, to test all aspects of a competitor’s driving skills.
For more information about the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship visit www.rya.org.uk/go/hondayouthrib