North East youngsters post quick times

Young sportsboat enthusiasts from across the Yorkshire and Humberside region lined up at Welton Waters Sailing Club, near Hull, on Saturday 3 May to compete for the title Honda RYA Youth RIB Yorkshire Regional Champion 2008.

The event was the first in this year’s UK-wide competition to find the Honda RYA Youth RIB National Champion, a test of speed and boat handling.

The young competitors are split into two groups: junior, aged 8 to 12 years; and youth, aged 13 to 16 years.

The Regional Champions in each group are invited to compete in the national final held at the Southampton Boat Show in September 2008.

As well as the glory of the title Honda RYA Youth RIB Champion, the prize on offer will be a brand new RIB, complete with a powerful Honda outboard engine and trailer for use by the winner’s chosen club.

Winner of the 8 to 12 age group was 11 year old Ross Flemming from Welton Sailing Club.

Ross’s winning time was a blistering 1min 38.9sec – which would have been good enough to earn him fifth place even in the youth class.

Ross, who comes from Kippax in Leeds and attends Brigshaw High School, had never driven one of these boats before the event.

Afterwards he said: “Brilliant!”

The Youth class was won by 16 year old Chris Owen-Hughes from Yarm in North Yorkshire, a member of Scaling Dam Sailing Club.

Both boys will now spend the summer practising and training before travelling down to the National Final in September.

Andrew Norton, RYA Motor Cruising Project Manager said: “The event at Welton Water has been a great start to the 2008 Championship.

“Last year over 3,500 youngsters took part in the event and we hope to see just as many kids get out on the water this year too.

“I’m sure competition will be fierce which will all lead to a truly exciting final in September.”

The next regional final takes place in the Eastern region at Paxton Lakes, Cambridgeshire on Saturday 17 May.

www.rya.org.uk