Youngsters all over the country will at last have the opportunity to develop their skills as competitive powerboat racers with the launch of the exciting new K Class

Youngsters all over the country will at last have the opportunity to develop their skills as competitive powerboat racers of the future as the exciting new K Class is introduced to the UK on 1 February at the infamous Brass Monkey event in Poole, Dorset.

The K Class will be open to competitors in two age ranges; 8 to 12 and 12 to 16 and is based at the Royal Motor Yacht Club in Poole. The Class has been developed and is run by top powerboat racer Vicky Crump-Cadman and her team, with guidance from the RYA Powerboat Racing department. It aims not only to establish a competitive Class for kids, but also to encourage kids to get involved with a series of fun days and family events.

In its debut season six sponsored boats will be competing in the Class, but the wide appeal suggests that this number will grow dramatically in seasons to come. All competitors will have to attend training sessions and complete a minimum of six chase races accompanied by an adult instructor before their level of competence is assessed. The initial classroom based learning will rigorously cover all aspects of safety, discipline and basic boat understanding. When the instructor is satisfied that the necessary level of skill, awareness and understanding has been reached the kids will then be allowed to race solo.

The one-design boat is a 12ft Sorcerer monohull and will be fitted with a 20hp outboard engine, capable of reaching speeds of up to 25mph carrying two passengers. The chase racing will run in open waters 250 meters from the shore in an oval course, with a chicane being added in the more advanced stages. Once chase patterns are established a handicap system will be introduced and the boats will then have a staggered start.

The K Class is the second RYA power initiative aimed at youngsters and will be developed alongside the current Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship, encouraging youngsters to try powerboating in a safe, controlled environment. With strong support from leading figures, including four times Class 1 world champion Steve Curtis, the introduction of kids initiatives responds to the rise in popularity of powerboating in the UK.

John Puddifoot RYA Powerboat racing Manager and National Champion Formula 2 RIB said ?The introduction of this new and exciting class for the first time truly provides children with a unique opportunity to experience the thrills and challenges of competitive fun on the water. Thanks must go to Tom and Vicky Crump-Cadman of the Royal Motor Yacht Club in Poole who have been instrumental in getting this class up and running. The RYA fully supports this initiative and would now very much like to see this expand into a National Class. If anyone is interested in sponsoring a boat or equipment for the Kids class the RYA would be delighted to hear from you.

Provisional K Class dates

Feb1 – Brass Monkey Poole

May 3-4 – Shakedown Basic Allhallows

May 24-26 – Torbay Classic Torquay

June 7-8 – Poole Charities Poole

Aug 15-17 – Poole Powerboat Grand Prix Poole