The RYA's Powerboat Project Manager, Andrew Norton, took his third long haul drive to Findhorn at the weekend to present 15 year old Jamie Paterson with his new Highfield OM460 RIB with a Honda BF50 engine after he successfully clinched the UK Honda RYA Youth RIB title for a third time.
Competing in the 13-16 age group category, Jamie Paterson claimed the winner's crown in a blistering time of 0.57.75. Despite receiving a time penalty for allowing a few drops of water in the stern during the reversing manoeuvre he still managed to beat the competition and gain his brand new RIB.
This year the Scots gained both titles with Oban Duncan receiving her T40 Honwave RIB at Scotland’s Boat Show last month. A good crowd gathered to join in the celebration at Findhorn Marina for the presentation, including representatives from the local Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency who came along to support this local hero.
Now in his fourth year at Forres Academy Jamie has been concentrating on his studies and looking towards a possible future career in the maritime industry. He has completed his sea survival and VHF course and is looking forward to becoming a powerboat instructor when he is old enough.
Jamie's ability to share his experiences was demonstrated during his Scottish heat, when he donated his prizes to encourage another competitor as he recognised the encouragement he received from others when he started out.
Jamie commented: “It feels great, I’m pleased and happy to win again. All my training has paid off but there is always some room for improvement. I love racing as the actual competition is loads of fun. I’m just looking forward to getting this afloat and trying it out for the first time.”
With that the Highfield OM460 RIB with a Honda BF50 engine was duly launched and thoroughly tested in Findhorn Bay.
Jamie started out at an early age thanks to his father Simon, an advanced powerboat instructor at Findhorn Marina. He encouraged Jamie to get involved in water-based activities with his main jacket being his life jacket over the years but it was RIB driving that really took his interest. By the age of ten and in his first competition he won the Scottish Heat in 2014 and went on to win his first UK tile in 2014. The following year he could not compete for a RIB, only within the head to head competition, so he returned in 2016 to Southampton where he once again regained the UK title.
The Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship brings young RIB drivers together, to manoeuvre around a course that includes a slalom, a stop exercise and a 360 reverse around a mark, before a final sprint to the finish line. After a series of qualifying events around the country both Jamie and Oban led the competition into the finals.
Ewan MacPherson, RYA Scotland Chair, attended the presentation in Findhorn. He said: “We’re very proud about Jamie winning . The community support and possibilities to encourage some more young power boaters in Scotland through this added resource is great.”
Andrew Norton, RYA Powerboat Project Manager, travelled up to Scotland’s Boat Show to present the Honwave T40 RIB prepared by Clyde Outboards. He said: "It's fantastic to have watched Jamie develop from ‘little’ Jamie as we first knew him to winning this title for a third time.
"Findhorn doesn’t get any closer when we deliver these boats up here, but the hospitality and beauty of the local area really make it worthwhile. We know that Jamie will continue and pass on his skills to others, while his dedication to the competition has been superb.”
Andrew reinforced his comments around the youth initiative and said: “The drivers through Honda RYA Youth RIB go on to become the safety boats, mark layers, instructors, powerboat racers and lifeboat crews of the future and to start them young with the help of club and centre volunteers it goes a long way to build a secure future for our sport.”
To find out more about how to get involved with the Honda RYA Youth RIB Series please visit the link here.