Youth winners after regional event

Young RIBsters competed in the Thames Valley regional finals of the National Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship, with victories going to India Wedge, from Burcot in Oxfordshire and Adrian Clay from Sunninghill, Berkshire.

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

Eleven year old India, representing Dorchester Sailing Club, took the top spot in 1:48.04, in the 8 – 12 age group, the only competitor in the group to go under two minutes.

A pupil of Our Lady’s junior School in Abingdon, India also competed in the regional final last year but didn’t manage to reach the finals that time, so she was delighted with her efforts this year and is extremely excited about attending the final.

In the senior class (13-16 age group) it was 16 year old Adrian Clay who claimed victory.

Representing Wraysbury Lake Sailing Club, Adrian put in a winning time of 1:19.49, a blistering 21 seconds ahead of second place Matt Burrows from Oxford Sailing Club.

Adrian, a regional champion last year was delighted to win, saying: “I’m very pleased to get the opportunity to compete at the finals again – this year I’m quietly confident I’ll do well but I’m still really looking forward to the challenge.”

Hosted by Dorchester Sailing Club, Event Organiser David Wedge said: “We’ve had perfect weather for the event and a great course, with a long blast from the last slalom buoy to the stopping exercise which really gave 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 India and Adrian 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 manouevre 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.”

www.rya.org.uk