National Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship

Youngsters from across the region hit the water over the weekend to compete in the East Midlands regional final of the National Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship, with victories going to Edward Baldock, from Gainsborough in the 13-16 age group and Edward Harrison from Lincoln in the 8-12 age group.

Both boys will now go on to represent the region in the National Final to be held at the Southampton Boat Show, on Sunday 21 September, where they will pitch their skills against other youngsters from across the country in the hope of being crowned 2008 champions.

Twelve-year-old Edward Harrison, representing Girton Sailing Club, took the top spot in an impressive 1:27:70 in the 8-12 age group, some 13 seconds ahead of nearest rival Cameron Hannah from the Notts County club.

Edward, who was defending his regional champion crown, said he was delighted to be heading off to the finals again and that it would be great to win and bring the top prize back to his club – a new RIB.

In the senior class (13-16 age group) it was 14-year-old Edward Baldock who claimed victory.

Also competing for Girton Sailing Club, Edward put in a winning time of 1:20:89, a full 17 seconds ahead of second place Oliver Lewis.

Edward, also a past regional champion, was delighted to win, saying: “It’s been a great day I really love the boats, they are fantastic. I’m very pleased to get the opportunity to compete at Southampton; I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”

Hosted by Nottinghamshire County Sailing Club in Hoveringham, Event Organiser Stuart Poole said: “We’ve had good weather and a good course which has really given the kids a chance to get some speed up and really show off their skills.

“The atmosphere has been fantastic and everyone taking part and those cheering the kids on had a great time.

“Both Edwards are thrilled with their wins and we will all be crossing our fingers for them at the finals.”

The National Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship forms part of the RYA’s Youth Awareness campaign.

The championship allows youngsters to demonstrate their skills as expert boat handlers and improve their skills in a safe, controlled environment.

Each competitor needs to demonstrate skill and control in order to manoeuvre around a pre-set course in the quickest time. To ensure safety at all times each child is accompanied in the RIB by a competent adult/instructor.

With 16 regional finals taking place between May and September across the country competition is likely to be fierce at the National Final, where finalists will compete to win a Ribcraft 4.8m RIB, Honda BF50 outboard, Indespension trailer and ICOM VHF radio for use at his/her chosen club.

The Championship is sponsored by Honda, Ribcraft, ICOM and Indespension Trailers.

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 more information about the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship, details on how to get involved and a list of regional finals scores visit www.rya.org.uk