RYA National Powerboat Racing Champions Awards Dinner

Champions from the world of powerboat racing converged on the Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth over the weekend (Saturday 7th February) for the RYA National Champions gala dinner, to celebrate the national and international successes of the 2008 season.
Hosted by one of the United Kingdom's leading powerboat racers and the first female British champion in her field, Shelley Jory and the RYA's Powerboat Racing Manager John Puddifoot, some 37 RYA National Awards were presented to champions from Jet Sport, Circuit and Offshore racing, P1 and record holders. Winners included; 7 world, 1 continental and 4 European champions and 9 world speed and 22 new national speed record holders.
In attendance for the first time ever and presenting the awards throughout the evening was the President of the UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) Dr Raffaele Chiulli. Dr Chiulli spoke of the need to 'intensify efforts to further support the sports Federations and competitors in this very challenging period and the UIM's commitment to further strengthen its position as the world governing body for and the driving force behind power boating, one of the leading motor sports worldwide'.
Two special awards were also announced on the evening, the Offshore Sponsors Trophy, which was presented to 'Silverline' and the Tony Needell Award-Offshore, which recognises outstanding services to the sport. This award was extremely well deserved and presented to one of the sports greatly loved supporters Annie Beakhust.
Another deserving winner of the evening was National Circuit T850 sprint champion, Bill Owen, who after 30 years in the sport claimed the Champions' title. On receiving his award Bill said: "It's been long, it's been hard, but worth it. I'll be back next year!"
Later he told us: "Once again it has been an excellent event and is a unique opportunity for everyone involved across all elements of the sport to get together and recognise our successes."
With a number of youngsters picking up awards in both the junior and adult classes it was evident that there is strong force of youth talent coming through the ranks of the sport. The RYA's John Puddifoot said: "The future is looking very promising in the world of power boat racing with the strength of UK youngsters on the circuit".
"It's important that we continue to drive new people in to the sport and with our free licensing initiative run in 2008 we saw some 400 new people get involved in the sport."
To find out more about how you can get involved with any of the power racing disciplines visit the RYA website www.rya.org.uk or call the RYA Powerboat Racing team on 0845 345 0378

Date Added - 10-Feb-2009

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