Honda Marine, Highfield Marine and the RYA have today announced that Highfield will replace Ribcraft as a co-sponsor of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship, with competitors taking part in a Highfield 460 aluminium RIB in the Regional and National Finals.
The agreement follows the establishment of a strategic partnership between Honda and Highfield in February 2013, which sees a range of Highfield RIBs sold exclusively in the UK as complete boat packages with Honda outboards.
Now going into its thirteenth year with Honda as a sponsor, the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship is a national competition which sees 8-16 year olds demonstrate their skills with the goal of winning a winning the Highfield 460 RIB or a Honwave T40 inflatable for their club. Competing in two classes (8-12 years, 13-16 years) the Championship is open to any RYA affiliated club, organisation or training centre, taking the form of a time trial around a set of marks. With the slalom buoys set 12.5m apart, skill and control is more important than sheer speed. Clubs hold their own local heats at their premises, with winners going forward to one of fourteen Regional Finals. Winners of the Regional Finals then go on to battle it out for the National title at the PSP Southampton Boat Show in September.
The 4.6m Highfield 460 sits within Highfield’s ‘Ocean Master’ range of seven boats from 3.5m to 5.9m. These high-specification craft offer a choice of colourways and internal layout, integrated under-deck fuel tank, bow step mooring cleat and bow locker with seat cushion. Easy to transport, store, launch and drive, the Highfield 460 features a 4mm powder coated aluminium Medium V hull, powered by a Honda BF50 (yes) four-stroke outboard. With its ease of use, wide appeal and high-versatility, the Highfield 460 is an ideal family-cruising RIB, luxury tender or robust support vehicle, for sailing clubs, for example.
The partnership between Honda and Highfield in the UK is part of Honda’s boatbuilder alliance programme, which offers full boat packages from premium manufacturers, delivering the complete ‘turnkey’ solutions which many UK customers are increasingly looking for. The agreement currently covers Highfield’s ‘Classic’ and ‘Ocean Master’ RIBs which have evolved from over 25 years of development in some of the toughest conditions in the world, with an enviable reputation fortoughness and reliability. Highfield boats are constructed around aluminium hulls which are strong, easy to repair, versatile and lightweight – delivering optimum levels of power, performance and efficiency. Additionally, aluminium hulls are totally recyclable.
Steve Harrison of Highfield Marine comments: “The Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship is a fantastic competition to be involved with and a perfect showcase for Highfield RIBs powered by Honda outboards. It’s great to be associated with a competition that encourages more young people to get out on the water and enjoy themselves and put their skills to the test.”
Steve Morris, Head of Power Equipment for Honda (UK) comments: “We’re delighted to continue our long and successful partnership with the RYA in supporting the Youth RIB Championship. Given our relationship with Highfield it is a natural fit to bring them on board for 2014, and we are both pleased to support the RYA in its efforts to encourage young people to develop their skills and to promote safe and responsible boating.”
Andrew Norton, Powerboat Project Manager for the RYA comments: “This is a fantastic opportunity and we are delighted that Highfield Marine are supporting the Championship. The programme wouldn’t be where it is today without the commitment we receive from the sponsors. We would also like to thank Ribcraft for their previous years of support.”
Highfield’s range of RIBs exclusively powered by Honda outboards are available from selected Authorised Honda Marine dealers across the UK. For further information please visit www.honda.co.uk/marine