“Think you’re King of the Waves?” was the question posed to local and specialist journalists by Honda (UK) and the RYA in the build up to the 38th Southampton International Boat Show; their chance to answer came today at the show’s Media Day with the introduction of the Honda RYA Media RIB Challenge.
Local Southampton press and popular marine media were invited to battle it out in a ‘Top Gear’-style challenge around a pre-determined course (identical to the RYA Youth RIB Challenge Course) on the choppy Southampton Water.

In order to separate the men from the boys the journalists were given Honda-powered identical RIBS and the challenge to beat the 2007 RYA Youth RIB fastest qualifying time of 1.06.97mins set by 15-year-old Paul Magowan. After plenty of fighting talk, the competition began with Rachel Healy from ITV Meridian taking to the water and throwing down the gauntlet for fellow competitors with a time of 2.22.37mins.

She was followed by fellow local journalist Will Carson from the Southampton Daily Echo and a number of journalists from marine titles Motor Boats Monthly, Motor Boat and Yachting, RIB International, Blue Sheets and World of Powerboats, all of whom set times within a few seconds of each other but none of them came within 30 seconds of Paul’s time. But the competition was extremely fierce and they all had a great time en route and learnt a great deal more about the RYA Youth RIB Challenge.

Said eventual winner Nick Rust from ‘World of Powerboats” who set a time of 1.36.71, “….that was really good fun. It was choppy out there but once you got going it was very rapid. I think this is a great initiative of Honda (UK) and the RYA to introduce us to the RYA Youth RIB Challenge and let us experience it at first hand. It is a superb event for young people all over the country teaching them the skills of boating in a controlled environment.”

Honda (UK) ended the event in style with a prize giving ceremony on the Honda (UK) stand (CO60) where the winner was awarded with a duffle bag full of Honda goodies and the slowest was given the chance to learn some powerboating tips with a free copy of Peter White’s ‘Powerboat Companion’.

The Honda RYA Youth RIB Challenge is a nation-wide scheme which encourages children from 8 to 16 to learn safety and skill on the water in a fun and safe environment. The journalist challenge also heralds the eve of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Challenge National Finals which take place tomorrow (Saturday 15th September) on Southampton Water. Presentation of the trophies will take place on the Honda (UK) stand with Senior Vice President of Honda Motor Europe – Ken Keir presenting the victorious entrant with a brand new RIB package for his or her training club.