The RYA has paid tribute to the powerboat racer who was killed on Saturday when his boat was struck by a wave during the European and British Powerboat Championships

The Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA) powerboat racing manager, John Puddifoot, has paid tribute to the racing driver killed during the European and British Powerboat Championships on Saturday, describing him as a “highly experienced pilot with 25 years of powerboat racing experience.”

Powerboat racing driver, Ian Stirling, was killed during the European and British Powerboat Championships at the 2010 Festival of Power in Harwich, Essex, on Saturday.

Mr Stirling, 59, from St Austell, Cornwall, died after his boat was hit by a wave and overturned during the race in Essex.

Puddifoot said, “He is going to be greatly missed within the powerboat racing family.

“Our deepest condolences go to Mr Stirling’s longstanding partner and family at this very sad time.”

Mr Stirling’s crewmembers are currently recovering in hospital.

A special commemoration was held involving about 50 powerboats, which formed a circle near where the accident happened, and as a mark of respect all racing was cancelled yesterday.

This tragedy comes just weeks after British Power Boat Champion, Shelley Jory, hinted she may retire from the sport following two serious crashes.

Police are now liaising with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch who will be investigating the incident in Harwich.