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Jordan and Jess jubilant after winning gold at Honda Youth RIB

posted 30 Jul 2012, 13:24 by Lancashire Powerboat
As the Olympics got underway this weekend, Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club (LPRC) awarded medals of their own as they hosted the Regional Final of the Honda Youth RIB Challenge on Saturday 28th July at Carr Mill Dam in St Helens.

LPRC driver Jordan Muckles, age 16 from Fulwell in Sunderland put on a great show. Although he had not been in a RIB boat for some time he put on a staggering display of speed and precision boat handling skills. He maneuvered his way around the complex course in ultra-slick and confident style, managing to complete the course in a staggering 56.81 seconds. Emily Pulford, from West Kirkby Sailing Club (WKSC) put up a strong challenge but she could not match the time set by Jordan as he powered to victory.

Jordan started his powerboat career by taking part in the Honda Youth RIB event in 2007 when he not only won his regional final but he went on to win the overall competition. Since then he was crowned 2010 World Champion in the Formula Future event where he competed against drivers from Malaysia, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, Germany, Norway, Poland, Estonia, Slovakia and Portugal. He is now an active member of LPRC and is currently 3rd in the RYA National Powerboat GP Championship, where Jordan normally races his GT30 monohull powerboat.

Jordan said: “I’m really pleased with my performance. It was my first time back in a RIB boat since taking part in Formula Future in 2010. I was nervous about getting back into this type of boats after racing my GT30, as they handle in a completely differently way. But after a short practice I remembered what to do and I am pleased with my time. But I do hope that I can do even better and improve on this time in the final, as I really want to win the title both for myself and on behalf of my club, Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club.”

Jane Hidderley from Liverpool Powerboats, who attended the competition said: “Jordan was amazing, he looked like a true professional on the water. His driving was slick and he was totally focused on the course and what he had to do. A truly impressive performance, well-done Jordan. Best of luck in the final in September, at Southampton.”

Charlotte Newton, age 14 from Lowton in Warrington, scooped third place in the older age category. Charlotte put in a faultless performance and incurred no penalty points. She finished in an impressive time and is hoping to get a lot more practice in this type boat to take over from Jordan and become the new LPRC Champion next year.

In the younger 8-12 category, it was Jess Pulman’s from West Kirkby Sailing Club (WKSC) time to shine. With her older sister also competing, sister rivalry was in full swing but Jess was determined to succeed and went all-out to win and claim victory on the day. Jess has had a keen interest in many water-sports since the family purchased a boat 3 years ago. She has various sailing qualifications but this was her first ever powerboat competition.

Jess said: “I am really surprised and very excited about winning. This now gives me the chance to win a boat for my club, it is a brilliant opportunity. My sister came along as the favourite to win in the older age category for our club, but she only managed second place and I have taken the victory in the younger age group! I am really pleased as it was totally unexpected.”

Jess’ father, Graham Pulford said: I am very proud of both my girls they have both done a great job. I am really pleased that Jess has won and we are going to Southampton. They have both had chance to learn new boat handling skills by taking part in this competition, and these skills will help them in the other water sporting activities that we do as a family.”

Other LPRC big achievers on the day were brother and sister Joshua and Bethany Bridge. It was the duo’s first time ever driving a boat and they both put on a brave performance. Joshua finished just 30 seconds behind the winner of the younger age category and Bethany showed huge determination making the biggest improvement of the day by smashing her own time by a staggering 70% in her second run.

Now Jordan and Jess will both get in as practice as they can before the National Final that takes place in mid September. Everybody from LPRC wishes them both best of luck.