The organisers of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship have praised this year's participants.

The organisers of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship have praised this year’s participants after one of the closest finishes the competition has seen.

The winners of the championship were announced at the Southampton Boat Show in front of an enthusiastic crowd of family, friends and officials.

The times of the finalists in the 2004/5 competition, which attracted more than 4000 entrants from across the British Isles, were the fastest in the event’s history. In some instances there was less than a second separating participants.

RYA event director Andrew Norton said: “It’s great to see the standard getting higher each year and more kids taking part. This year we had some exceptionally talented boat handlers both at the national final and at the regional finals.”

The winners were both presented with an Avon 4.5m RIB with a 40 hp Honda 4-stroke engine and Indespension Trailer for their club after a series of boat-handing tests at the show.

Katrina Curtis, 12, from Kimbolton School Sailing Club, won the 8-12-year-old category. She completed the course in 1 minute 13.81 seconds, with Guy Wood, 12, from Isle of Man Yacht Club only 0.7 seconds behind her.

Drew Magowan, 14, competing for the Royal Ulster YC, was first in the 13-16 age group, despite being one of the youngest in the group. He knocked a second off the winning time in 2004.

To take part in next year’s championship call RYA Cruising. Tel: 0845 345 0370 or email janet.booth@rya.org.uk