Staunton Harold gears up to host Midlands Junior Powerboating Finals

Staunton Harold Sailing Club, in South Derbyshire, is gearing up to welcome around 20 of the Midlands’ most talented young powerboat drivers as they host the 2018 Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship Area Finals on Saturday (23 June).

The Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship is Britain’s leading programme introducing kids to powerboats and training them to be safe, proficient drivers. With the emphasis on swift, efficient and safe boat handling, competitors take part in timed runs, tackling tricky manoeuvres, including a high-speed slalom, stop exercise, 360 reverse around a buoy and a blast to the finish, to test all aspects of their driving skills.

With the Championships now in their 17th year, last year was the first that Staunton Harold had entered drivers in the event, with Sam Nugent and Ellie Rush flying the flag for their club, as the club hosted the event too.

Drivers compete in one of two age categories – 8-12 and 13-16 years. The fastest competitors in each age-group qualify for the National Final, held at the Southampton Boat Show in September, where the winners of all 13 Area Finals come together to battle it out for the overall Championship crowns.

The national 8-12 years champion wins a Honwave T40 RIB with a Honda BF20 engine for their club or organisation with the winner of the 13-16 age group claiming a Highfield 460 RIB with a Honda BF50 engine.

Will Baldock, Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship Area Co-ordinator, says: “Responsible RIB drivers are essential to all clubs in providing safety cover for their sail training and racing activities, and getting and keeping more people on the water.

“Empowering youngsters to drive such powerful boats sees them show maturity beyond their years. Their respect for the equipment and how to handle it is great to watch and by learning these skills young they can make a huge difference in helping to keep their clubs vibrant for years to come.”

A record number of clubs, training centres and organisations from South Derbyshire, Birmingham, Mansfield, Nottingham, Newark and Rugby are amongst those with competitors qualifying for the Area Finals, with a number of these also taking part for the first time.

Andrew Norton, RYA Powerboat Projects Manager, adds: “The Honda Youth RIB Championship is not just about speed, it’s about control, skill and determination. Each year the lap times get quicker and quicker and the bar is set higher and higher. While many competitors return year on year, there is also the chance to see new talented young drivers come through and make their mark on the leaderboard.”

For more details about the Championship visit or like our Facebook page at Honda RYA Youth RIB.

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