Four-midable Aga Books National Powerboat Finals Spot Again

A young Codsall powerboater will aim to land her first national crown after winning her fourth successive Midlands’ Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship Area title on Saturday (1 July).

Aga Czartolomna, 12, who achieved a best ever result of third overall at what was her third national finals last year, will again go head-to-head with the 12 other UK Area finalists in the 8-12 years age group at the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship grand final at the Yachtmarket.com Southampton Boat Show on Sunday 17 September.

In clocking a winning time of 1:09:69 at Saturday’s Area finals, hosted by Staunton Harold Sailing Club in Derbyshire, the Codsall Middle School pupil also posted the fastest 8-12 years’ time from the six Area finals that have taken place so far.

Now in its 16th year, the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship is Britain’s leading programme introducing kids to powerboats and training them to be safe, proficient drivers and excellent boat handlers. RIBs are light, manoeuvrable craft and the boats driven in the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship can hit speeds of up to 35mph.

With the emphasis on swift, efficient and safe manoeuvring, Honda RYA Youth RIB events see drivers compete in time trials around sets of marks with the fastest time over two rounds winning. Each competitor has to master a slalom, a stop exercise and a 360° reverse around a buoy manoeuvre, followed by a sprint to the finish.

Aga sails and is trained in powerboat driving at South Staffs SC on Gailey Reservoir. With her 16-year-old sister Kamila a two-time national Honda RYA Youth RIB champion in the 13-16 years age group, Aga has her sights on repeating her sibling’s success.

Aga said: “I got into powerboat driving because I was supported by my sailing club and I was following in my sister’s footsteps. I am relieved to have come first in the Area final and I am feeling excited to be going back to Southampton again.

“Last year conditions at the nationals were windy and with big waves, which made it quite tricky. In one reversing manoeuvre, I took on some water over the back of the boat, which slowed me down so I’m hoping the weather is a bit better this year!”

In fair weather with a consistent light breeze in Derbyshire, Notts County SC’s Jacob Gent took second spot with Scott Waddingham from Girton SC third.

Steve Hawksworth, the instructor in the boat with the young drivers, said: “All of the competitors did really well. They displayed a very good standard of boat handling and should all be very proud of their performances. Everyone had a lot of fun.”

Andrew Norton, Powerboat Projects Manager and Event Director, added: “The speed and precision in which these youngsters get around what is pretty testing course is quite phenomenal.”

Sponsored by Honda and Highfield, the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship sees the overall national champion in each age group win a Honwave T40 RIB with a Honda BF20 engine or a Highfield 460 RIB with a Honda BF50 engine for their club.

Steve Morris, Head of Power Equipment for Honda (UK), added: “We’re pleased to continue our long and successful partnership with the RYA, supporting the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship in its 16th year. Honda and our boat partner, Highfield, are delighted to support the RYA in its endeavours to motivate and encourage young people to develop driving skills and to promote safe and responsible racing through this unique and exciting event.”

For more information about the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship visit www.rya.org.uk/go/hondayouthrib