Young powerboaters from across the UK will be hitting the water on Sunday 17 September at the Yachtmarket.com Southampton Boat Show, putting their skill, control, and speed to the test in the hope of clinching the prestigious title of 2017 Honda RYA Youth RIB National Champion.

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. Throughout the summer the competition has seen some very close finishes at the area finals and this year's final promises to be a real nail biter!

"It has been great over the last 4 months to be welcomed into so many friendly and enthusiastic sailing and yacht clubs across the U.K. While competition has been tight it is good to see that rivalries have been put aside when competitors return to shore with them consoling each other if laps haven't gone as well as they hoped. There have been many competitors who have given their all on the course from those who have only driven a boat a handful of times to those who have been practicing hard for a number of years.

"The skill of the competitors who have made it to this year's national final means we are going to have a close fought battle to see who can become this year's National Champion in both age categories and challenge Camilla in the Champion of Champions race" commented Benn Freeman, Honda RYA Youth RIB Event Manager.

In the 08-12 age group look out for Henry Martin and Aga Czartoloman who both posted blistering times at their area finals.  Twelve year old Henry posted the fastest time of all the area finals in both age groups, definitely one to watch. He commented: "I'm very pleased to set a time that is competitive with the older category".  While Aga added: "I'm relieved to have come fist in the area final and I'm feeling excited to be going back to the final I just hope the weather is a bit better!"

In the 13-16 age group we have a number of competitors returning for the second time including Carlo Consolos, George Baxter and Joe Coutanche, with Tom Rogers returning for the third time, all hoping to clinch the National Champion crown.  Tom commented: "I love RIB driving and I'm so happy to have won my Area Championship for the third year running"

Area Finals Lap time leader boards

8-12 age group

Name

Area

Lap Time

Henry Martin

South West (2)

1:07.53

Aga Czartolomna

Midlands

1:09.69

Oban Duncan

Scotland

1:13.71

Louis Grange

South 1

1:20.69

Henry Wood

South 2

1:28.09

George Colquitt

North West

1:34.25

Joshua Kane

Northern Ireland

1:42.06

Liam Withey

London & South East 1

1:50.49

Cadan Pearce

Wales

2:06.09

Jacob Lowe

South West 1

2:40.90

13-16 age group

Name

Area

Lap Time

Simon Hall

North West

1:08.00

Carlo Consolos

South West (2)

1:08.81

Jake Forrest

London & South East 1

1:10.53

George Baxter

Midlands

1:12.53

Tom Rogers

South 2

1:13.18

Jordan Colley

Scotland

1:13.40

Joe Coutanche

South 1

1:21.45

Lewis James

Wales

1:21.77

Kelly Patterson

Northern Ireland

1:35.68

Competitors from Scotland will kick start the national final at 09:00am, with racing continuing throughout the day until 13.40, off the Solent Park area.

The course will involve tricky timed manoeuvres, including a high speed slalom, stop exercise, and a blast to the finish line, to test every aspect of the youngsters' powerboat driving skills.

Now in its 16th year, finalists will be battling it out on the water in the hope of winning 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, again for their club, a Highfield 460 RIB with a Honda BF50 engine. Medals, certificates and other prizes will also be presented to the first, second and third places in each age group.

The prize giving will take place at approximately 14.45 on the Honda Stand (C066) before our 2017 National Champions head back out on the water to take part in the Champion of Clubs Head to Head, taking on the winners from the 2016 National Final.

The Head to Head prize giving will take place at approximately 16.30 on the Honda stand.

Andrew Norton, RYA Powerboat Project Manager and Event Director said: "With so many talented young RIB drivers across the country the 2017 titles and the Champion of Clubs trophy could belong to anyone.

"Qualifying for the national final of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship is a huge achievement as it not only means that these youngsters can drive the RIBs at speed but they can handle them safely under pressure.

"There are plenty of places around the race course area for visitors to watch all the action so please come along and cheer on the competitors."

RIBs are light, manoeuvrable craft and the boats driven in the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship can hit speeds of up to 25mph.

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