The Honda RYA Youth RIB Championships have now come to a close. Competing throughout the day, the 28 young powerboating finalists from across the country demonstrated great skill and speed at the throttle of the two Ribcraft 4.8m RIB’s around a difficult course, whilst battling a variety of weather conditions from beautiful bright sunshine to very heavy rain.
However, it was a clean sweep for Parkstone Yacht Club and the Southern Region as the competition saw twelve year old Harrison Faull and sixteen year old Ben Edwards blasting their way to championship glory.
In the 8-12 age group, Harrison clinched the winner’s title by over four seconds ahead of second place Rory Fekkes from the Northern Ireland region, with a winning time of 1:11:15. Whilst in the 13-16 age group, Ben blasted to victory in a blistering time of 01:20:75, just less than a second faster than the nearest challenger in his age group. Both boys skillfully manoeuvred around the tricky and testing course which included a slalom run, 360O reverse around a buoy and a stop exercise.
Harrison wins a fantastic Honwave T40 RIB with BF20 engine and Ben wins a Ribcraft 4.8m RIB with BF60 engine both for Parkstone Yacht Club. All the competitors picked up a certificate for taking part and the top three in each class also collected medals and chandlery vouchers courtesy of Ribcraft.
Harrison, who was very grateful to be taking part in the competition after sustaining a sprained ankle playing football just a few days beforehand, said of his win: 'This is the first year competing in the championship so I can’t believe I came first. I found the slalom the most challenging part of the course and I will definitely be back next year, for sure.'
In his last year competing in the competition, Ben said: 'Today was awesome and I’m so happy I’ve won. I’ve been driving RIBs since I was eight and this is my fourth time here in Southampton and I have finally won. It’s brilliant to go out with a bang!'
Presenting the prizes was Phil Webb, Head of Power Equipment at Honda and Sarah Treseder, RYA CEO. Phil commented: 'RIBS can be challenging and speedy so it is fantastic to see the adrenaline and enjoyment coming across from all the youngsters taking part in the competition. Throughout the competition they are so capable when using the RIBs and outboard engines and even being out on the water in heavy rain didn’t crush any of their enthusiasm.'
Andrew Norton, RYA Motor Cruising Projects Manager and Event Director added: 'Again, the standard of the competition has improved despite the challenging conditions with lots of heavy rain. It’s great to see new clubs coming through to the final such as the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club and Swindon Sea Cadets. Well done to everyone.'
The Honda RYA Youth RIB challenge allows youngsters to demonstrate their skills as expert boat handlers and improve their skills in a safe, controlled environment. To ensure safety at all times each child is accompanied in the RIB by a competent adult/instructor.
Special thanks go to Championship sponsors Honda and Ribcraft. Event website