They are bidding to be crowned the National Champion in this year’s Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship.    

Luke, aged 12, qualified by winning the 8-12 age group at the event, organised by and held at the Guernsey Yacht Club.  He achieved a best time of 1 minute and 10 seconds around a course that was designed to show expertise in speed and manoeuvring.   

In the 13-16 age group, Joe Coutanche, aged 15, gained his place at the final when he came back to successfully defend his 2017 crown, beating his own previous win time by a huge 13 seconds to achieve 1 minute 7 seconds.   

Luke and Joe both attend Elizabeth College, and are members of Guernsey Yacht Club.  

The Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship, sponsored by Honda and Highfield, is a National Championship in which 8 - 16 year old Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) drivers can demonstrate their skills with the goal of winning a Highfield 460 or a Honwave T40 RIB for their club.  

The pair are both hopeful of a win in their respective divisions.  Luke has taken part in the event twice before while Joe won the regional final in 2015 and 2017.    

The event will be a thrilling day of RIB competition, held in the sheltered area just off the marina at the Show.  If previous years are anything to go by, an enthusiastic audience of supporters and visitors will be cheering them on to some nail biting close quarters finishes.   

RIBs are light, manoeuvrable craft and the boats driven in the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship can hit speeds of up to 25mph.  The young competitors will have to manoeuvre skilfully around the testing course, which includes a slalom run, a 360 degree reverse around a buoy and a stop exercise.  

Steve Morris, Head of Power Equipment for Honda (UK), comments: “We are pleased to continue our long and successful partnership with the RYA in supporting the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship in its sixteenth year. “Honda and our boat partner Highfield are delighted to support the RYA in its endeavours to motivate and encourage young people to develop their skills and to promote safe and responsible racing through this unique and exciting championship.”  

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.  

Thanks to Championship sponsors Honda and Highfield. For more information about the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship visit www.rya.org.uk/go/hondayouthrib