CONGLETON YOUNGSTER LANDS NATIONAL RIB FINAL SPOT
A young Congleton powerboater has clinched his place in a prestigious national grand final for the second year running after once again claiming victory at the West Midlands Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship Regional Final at South Staffordshire Sailing Club on Saturday (12 May).
Rudyard Sailing Club's Oliver Nuttall, 16 triumphed for the second successive year in the 13-16 years age-group at Gailey Reservoir and will again fly the flag for the West Midlands when he goes head-to-head against the age-group victors from all 13 other regional deciders at the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship Final showdown at the PSP Southampton Boat Show on Sunday 16 September.
Now in its 11th 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.
In ideal conditions and light breeze, Oliver, who finished ninth on his national final debut last year, clocked 1:10.30 to complete the fastest 13-16 years' time trial around sets of marks to make it back-to-back regional titles. The overall national 13-16 years' champion will win a 4.8m Ribcraft RIB with a Honda BF60 engine for their club.
The Congleton High School pupil, who only started powerboating three weeks before his 2011 regional triumph, said: "I was overjoyed to win again and excited about attending the final. I would love to win the overall competition in my last year of being able to do the event and, of course, to win a RIB for my club!"
RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) are light, manoeuvrable craft and the boats driven in the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship can hit speeds of up to 25mph.
With the emphasis on swift, efficient and safe manoeuvring, the skills developed through the Honda RYA Youth RIB programme are not only a great chance for youngsters to experience the thrill of racing a small powerboat but are also invaluable in delivering a stream of well-trained young powerboat drivers to provide safety and support cover for sailing and windsurfing events and training courses, locally, nationally and worldwide.
More than 20 volunteers from South Staffordshire SC helped make sure the event ran smoothly tackling timekeeping, competition administration, competitor rota, powerboat instructors and safety to refreshments and car parking duties.
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/go/hondayouthrib
PHOTOGRAPHS: Hi res images available on request.
1) 2012 West Midlands Honda RYA Youth RIB Regional Championship 13-16 years' winners - 1st Oliver Nuttall (driver), 2nd Ben Hall (right), 3rd Nick Hollingshead (left)
Neil Hawkins - 14th May 2012