Winging it in Wraysbury
SILVER WING SC will play hosts as young powerboaters from across London and the south east hit the water for the regional final of the 15th Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship, on Sunday June 19.
Finalists from UK heats will do battle at the Wraysbury-based club, with winners in both the 8-12 and the 13-16 age groups going on to the national final at the Southampton Boat Show in September.
Event co-ordinator Roger Bennett said: “The championship is a great event to encourage youngsters to demonstrate their powerboating skills. It helps them develop into expert boat handlers in a safe and controlled way.”
Each competitor aims to manoeuvre around a pre-set course in the quickest time – the boats being light, manoeuvrable craft, hitting speeds of up 25mph.
Bennett added: “This is the second year we have held the event at Silver Wing and people from many clubs all over the south east’s RYA region take part.
“In the last couple of years, two local sailing clubs have closed, due to owner’s seeing fishing as a more profitable business than sailing.
“This has left Silver Wing in a unique position as the only former gravel pit north west of Staines still offering sailing as a sport to the local community.
“It is really important we can offer an outlet for young people to learn to sail and support the activity of powerboating. When sailing, safety craft or powered support vessels are often on standby to help those in difficulty and to coach from and run races.
“I learned my skills on Silver Wing Lake many years ago, along with most of the members, and enjoy passing those skills onto others.
“Silver Wing became an RYA training centre several years ago, giving us the chance to offer recognised courses for powerboating.
“Many of our members are Staines and Wraysbury residents who didn’t know we existed until they came to open days or saw us at the Two Rivers shopping centre in Staines.
“Staging the event involves timekeepers, judges and many support helpers, most of which are local members.
“It means a great deal for Silver Wing to have been invited by the RYA to host the event again.” sailing and
Good Evans: Joel Evans, who lives in Staines, came second last year and is aiming for top spot this time.