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Honda RYA Youth Rib Championship : Youngsters power through to National Championship

06June2012_Honda_RYAPhoto by RYA

06-June-2012. Young powerboaters from across the Thames Valley and London hit the water for the regional finals of the Honda RYA Youth Rib Championship at Queen Mary Sailing Club (QMSC) on 26 May 2012.

The series, sponsored by Honda and Ribcraft, is a National Championship in which 8-16 year old RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) drivers can demonstrate their boat handling skills in a race against the clock, in the hope of winning a 4.8m Ribcraft or Honwave T40 for their club.

The competitors were greeted by very sunny conditions, with a breeze which made for some challenging rough water at times.

Josh Lee Patterson (11) from Old Windsor took victory in the 8-12 age group. Josh won his club heats at Wokingham Activity Centre to qualify for this event, where he made it two wins in two years to once more secure his place at the national finals in September. Josh said: “I’m very excited and can’t believe I’ve done it for a second time.”

Callum Hutchinson of Albany Park Sailing Centre was second in the group.

Peter Wood (16) of Oxford took the honours in the 13-16 age group. Peter, an RYA sailing instructor, said he was “surprised and very happy” to win the event at his first attempt, after qualifying in regional heats at the Oxford District School Sailing Association. Unfortunately Peter will miss out on the national finals as he and his family are moving to Spain before the event.

The competition in the older age group was extremely close, with only one second separating Peter from George Galloway of Windsor Sailing Club, who in turn was just a second ahead of Kieran Sibley of Albany Park Sailing Centre.

QMSC Secretary Phil Dickinson said: “QMSC was delighted to host the regional finals. Not only has the competition encouraged a focus on powerboat driving skills, it has also presented the opportunity for youngsters to experience powerboat competition. During our club heats some of our younger members were able to experience powerboat driving for the first time in a supervised environment.”

David Hodgkinson, Marketing Communications Manager for event sponsor Honda added:

“Honda strives to be "a company that society wants to exist", and so as a major manufacturer of engines and inflatables we are delighted to be sponsoring the 11th year of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship. Inspiring and encouraging young people to discover and pursue a passion for boating, is as important as giving them the skills to do so in a safe and responsible way. We are proud together with the RYA to be doing both through this unique competition”.