The 2012 Honda RYA Youth RIB Regional Finals took place at Port Edgar on Saturday 16th June with the weather making for a wet and wild competition, but there was no doubt that the youngsters rose to the challenge.
Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship 2012
There were several competitors over the two age group categories all fighting for their chance to win a place in the National Final later this year. The high winds meant that the competition took place on a course set within the marina breakwater for a little added shelter.
This meant that spectators and fellow competitors got an excellent view of the action taking place out on the water. Competitors came from all over at Scotland plus a few competitors who had travelled from Northern Ireland.
Local boy Isaac Lines, who will be starting Dunoon Grammar School after the summer and is from Innellan, was the winner of the 8-12 years category.
He put in a very impressive performance to beat Sophia Del Castillo, only 10 years old, from Larne in Northern Ireland and also last year’s winner Andrew Pretswell from Oban who finished third. Isaac, who was absolutely thrilled to win, has always been interested in the sport and is now very excited to be travelling to represent Toward Sailing Club at the National Championships at PSP Southampton Boat Show in September. He hasn’t competed in this event before so it was certainly an impressive debut performance.
Winner of the 13-16 years category Rory Fekkes, 13 years old from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, beat five others from his club (UK Formula Future Offshore Race Club) to be able to compete on Saturday. His experience in competing in Honda Youth RIB regional final previously was evident as he clocked a very impressive time to beat Fraser MacMillan into second place.
Fraser who is 15 years old was competing for Largs Sailing Club was only 18 seconds behind in the challenging conditions. Third place went to 16 year old Cameron Lancaster from Dalgety Bay Sailing Club.
RYA Scotland Powerboat Coordinator Simon Paterson commented 'Thanks to the many volunteer helpers and instructors who made this event possible. Many who had travelled far to make this event happen and the entrants certainly benefited from their generosity. It will almost certainly be a rematch next year as it was clear many of the competitors wanted to go again!'
The Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship, 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.
David Hodgkinson, Marketing Communications Manager for event sponsor Honda said: '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'.
RYA Youth RIB Championship website