Youngsters go head to head

Guernsey’s young RIB drivers were out in force this weekend going head to head in the Channel Island’s regional final of the Honda RYA Youth Championship to win a place at the National Final in Southampton next month.

In the waters off Guernsey Yacht Club in near perfect conditions, calm seas and not too much sun, the youngsters charged round the timed championship course to post the quickest time possible being careful not to pick up too many time penalties for incorrect manoeuvres on their way round.

Split into two age groups 8-12 and 13-16, competition was fierce especially between sisters Eloise and Abigail Tanguy who were keen to outdo each other in positioning across their separate classes. After much jest, the best sister was never decided as they both ended up finishing third!

Racing to victory in the younger age group was 10 year old Jacob Sidebottom (pictured), posting a time of 02:01:00 and in the older age group 14 year old Nick Parkes who finished with an extremely fast time of 01:18:72.

Both were very pleased to have won however, Nick is unable to compete in Southampton at the finals so has nominated second place Stephanie Topley to take his place. Having attended the finals once before Stephanie has some useful experience and took up the challenge gladly.

She commented: “Coming second is always frustrating but I’m really lucky and pleased that I have the opportunity to go to the finals again. I’ll do my absolute best for Nick and the Club (Guernsey Yacht Club) – no pressure!”

Stephanie and Jacob will be competing to win their club a brand new 4.8m Ribcraft RIB powerboat with a 50hp Honda four stroke engine complete with an Indespension trailer and Icom 505 VHF radio.

The Championship was set up to teach youngsters the importance of learning how to drive a RIB safely and responsibly and the course involves coming to a stop, high speed slalom, reversing and man over board manoeuvres – all essential in control.

Martin Moll, Head of Marketing for event sponsor Honda said: “We are very proud and pleased to be associated with the RYA Youth RIB Challenge for another year because it allows us to create links with the wider community – giving a younger generation access to our products and helping them engage with interactive, team based, social activities.

Furthermore, as a manufacturer which puts safety at the heart of everything we do, the RIB Challenge gives us a great opportunity to underline this commitment.”

For details on how to get involved and a list of regional finals scores visit www.rya.org.uk