Guernsey powerboating aces, Stephanie Topley, 14, and Jacob Sidebottom, 10, will take on the UK's best young RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) driving talent next weekend (Sunday 13th September) when they compete at the National Final of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship.
Guernsey powerboating aces, Stephanie Topley, 14, and Jacob Sidebottom, 10, will take on the UK’s best young RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) driving talent next weekend (Sunday 13th September) when they compete at the National Final of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship.
Conditions were good for RIB driving, fine weather and calm seas, however, the atmosphere on the time trial race course was anything but calm with competitors from three different clubs, RGYC, 1st/4th Gibraltar Scouts and the Gibraltar Sea Scouts each keen to blow each other out of the water and secure a place at the final.
Held at the PSP Southampton Boat Show the final will see 32 regional champions from across the UK and Gibraltar race against the clock and put their RIB driving skill, control and speed to the test around the championship course to secure the prestigious title – 2009 National Champion.
To gain his place at the final, Jacob won the 8-12 class in the Channel Islands heats on 15th August. He comments: “I know the competition is going to be tough so I’ve been practicing when the conditions have allowed me to as it’s been rather windy since I won the regional event! The final will be on the sea and I know quite a few of the finalists are used to racing on lakes so I’m hoping my experience of the sea will help me out.”
Finishing in second place on the 15th, Stephanie thought she had missed out on a place at the final however, Nick Parkes who won the 13-16 age group revealed he was unable to attend and nominated Stephanie to take his place.
She comments: “I feel like I’ve been given an extra chance so I am going to give it my absolute all on Sunday. Having been before I know the competition will be tough there but I really enjoyed the experience. I’ll do my absolute best for Nick and the Club (Guernsey Yacht Club) – no pressure!”
Split into two age groups 8-12 and 13-16, competitors will be racing against each other to win a brand new 4.8m Ribcraft RIB powerboat with a 50hp Honda four stroke engine on an Indespension trailer, equipped with an Icom IC-M505 VHF radio for their clubs.
With both 2008’s national champions Aaron Lowther (13-16) and Steven Curtis (8-12) keen to defend their titles the event is sure to be a real nail bitter. Racing gets underway at 10:00 and prize giving is at 18:00 on Honda’s stand (CO62).
For more information about the RYA Youth RIB Championship, details on how to get involved and a list of regional finals scores visit www.rya.org.uk