HotRIBS - The online RIB Magazine
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  # 263
RYA Youth RIB Challenge




Gordon Bamford, 15, today Saturday 3rd November, received his prize as the newly crowned 2007 Honda RYA Youth RIB Challenge champion.

At his home club of Largs Sailing Club, where he had learned the skills which have now taken him to a national title, Gordon proudly accepted the prize of a brand new 4.8 metre powerboat which goes to his Club. The powerboat, which is a Ribcraft RIB, complete with Honda BF50 Outboard, on an Indespension trailer, was handed over to his Club at a ceremony attended by competition organiser Andrew Norton of the RYA, and George McCree, Commodore of Largs SC.

Gordon won his title, and the coveted prize, in September at the National Final, held at Southampton Boat Show. That win was the culmination of three seasons of learning his skills in powerboat driving. Gordon first learned how to drive at an RYA Level 2 powerboat course at his home club back in 2005, when aged just 13. He honed his skills helping drive safety boats in many sailing championships at Largs, and in 2006 first entered the Honda Youth Rib competition. He was desperately disappointed to come second in the Scottish final that year, but continued to build his skills. In 2007 he took another RYA course at Largs SC, the Safety Boat course, and this time he won the Scottish final to qualify for the first time for the National final at Southampton.

The final at Southampton proved to be a real nail biter. Gordon had to beat off strong challenges from fifteen other young sailors aged 13 – 16 to clinch the coveted title. Three other finalists came within just three seconds of Gordon’s time to create a very close finish.


But Gordon skillfully threaded his way round the demanding course which included a slalom run, 360O reverse around a buoy and a man overboard test. His time of 1 minute17.21 seconds proved the quickest. He said of his win: “It feels great to have won. Next year I hope to make it back to the finals to defend my title and go out on top.”

Gordon and his fellow finalists had emerged from over 1,150 competitors, competing at club heats and regional finals all over the country, with all hoping to qualify for the National Final.

The new powerboat, donated by Championship sponsors Honda, Ribcraft, ICOM and Indespension Trailers, was accepted today at Largs by Gordon and George McCree, the Commodore of Largs SC.

George McCree said,”I’m very proud to see Gordon win through to take the National title. We will make great use of the new RIB for our busy training programme and for the many sailing Championships and Open Meetings which we host every year at Largs.”

Andrew Norton, the Motor Cruising Events manager of the RYA, said, “We are delighted to be running this championship, which becomes more successful every year. Its popularity underscores the sea safety message from both Honda and the RYA.”

Now in its sixth year, the Honda RYA Youth RIB challenge allows youngsters to demonstrate their skills as expert boat handlers and improve their skills in a safe environment.

For more information about the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship visit

November 2007