South Staffs Burgee
South Staffordshire Sailing Club
RYA Volvo Champion Club National Lottery - Sport England

Junior RIB Training for the Honda RIB Challenge

2017 Honda RYA Youth RIB Challenge

Training for the 2017 event will start in January. The first practice/training day will take place on Saturday 21 January; 8.30am (prompt) start and finishing by 1pm. The training is open to all 8 to 16 year olds. To book on please contact Steve Troke (contact details under the ‘applications’ section below).

Key Information

·         All junior candidates must be current 2017 and active sailing members of South Staffs S.C.

·         All juniors must have and wear suitable waterproof gear. It will be very COLD and possible wet/Windy, snowy, sunny!

·         All attending juniors and a Parent/Guardian must be able to attend both Rib Area & National Finals if selected. 

·         A Parent/Guardian must be in attendance on the shore throughout all training. You would be welcome to listen in on all talks and briefings given throughout the Junior sessions and naturally ask any questions.

·         Please bring a packed snack/lunch or nibbles - kids get very hungry and I want to keep my Instructors!

·         Minimum age 8yr – up to 16yrs of age (This is the age of the entrant at the time of the National Final) i.e. for the 8-12 year olds the competitor should not have had their 13th or 17th birthday before 24 September 2017

Special Notes for this year’s allocations:

As we may be still down to only one RIB – I MUST limit entrants for the day, but will advise if we have reached that limit when you contact me about enrolling. Your child would then of course be placed on the reserve list.

This year we cannot enter a candidate in the over 13-years-old age group in the competition as Kamila won in 2016 which bars thee club from entering the following year.

Dates and venues that they must be able to attend with parents/guardians are:

Midlands Area Finals

·         Date Yet To be Announced – Confirmed A.S.A.P.

·         8.30am till around 4pm

National Finals

·         PSP Southampton Boat Show

·         Sunday 24 September 2017 (yet to be confirmed, but it is usually the last day of the Boat Show)

·         8.30am till around 6pm, may be later depending on presentations

The reasoning behind this is that if a junior qualifies in their area heat, they are then representing their Club AND Area at the National Final at Southampton. This will almost certainly mean an overnight stay as the sessions start very early on the Sunday morning. You will receive free tickets to the Boat Show to help you spend your monies.

I`m very sorry that I don`t have these dates confirmed as of yet - it’s out of my hands but I will keep trying to get details. I will post on the website as soon as I can confirm. If they can't attend, they have effectively barred someone else from qualifying who could.

About the training day

Our practice assessment day will commence by explaining how to prepare the RIBs (May only have one this year) and check all safety items, how to launch and recover Safety boats in a safe way. Coaching will be given on all aspects of how to start, drive and manoeuvre the Power Boat(s) in a safe and controlled way.

There will be a nominated Instructor/PB Driver in the boats at all times with the juniors who will also be wearing Kill Cords at all times. Radio contact will be mandatory between all power craft and shore.

Each candidate will be assessed continually throughout the morning. Points awarded will count on the Final Days Practice Course score. A junior repeatedly failing to comply with any of the PB Instructors requests will be returned to shore immediately. Never happened before!

At the end of the session, a set course maybe laid out for each junior to complete a timed trial. The least penalties incurred during the timed runs (plus or minus on-going assessment points) will go forward for extra Rib Challenge Training. At this stage, there will only be two candidates from each age group going forward.  All though there will be disappointment for most juniors (and parents), the day should have been beneficial and enjoyable for all. I always have to keep in mind we are a Sailing Club and therefore PB activities for juniors have to be tightly controlled.

The selected student(s) will be given what I call, very low key training to sharpen up their boat handling and understanding of driving power boats skills. This is carried out any time suitable where they are present and free of other sailing activities, usually on a Sunday morning before or after Junior training. Most of the skills they learn are done at low speed and just practicing boat control with manoeuvres out of the way of other Club water users.

The Competition 

The competition takes the form of a time trial around a set of marks - plus/minus any points accessed throughout the day. The fastest time with lowest penalty points wins! 

Skill and control, and not speed, are the most important factors. Each junior will have two runs, one as a practise and one as a 'hot lap'. Both runs are timed and the fastest time put forward towards their assessment. At the end of the session, our team will all discuss the day’s events and factors involve, only then announcing our final decisions. I hope you will understand that our joint decisions will be binding. We don`t have the man power, time, or Boats to teach every Junior in the Club. 

Classes in the RYA RIB Challenge

There are two classes: 8-12 years and 13-16 years. This is the age of the entrant at the time of the National Final, i.e. for the 8-12 year olds the competitor should not have had their 13th birthday before 24 September 2017 and similarly in the 13-16-year-old section they should not have had their 17th birthday before 24 September 2017.


Safety is paramount. An RYA Powerboat instructor, or competent adult nominated by Sailing Committee with minimum Powerboat Level 2, will be in the boat always attached to a separate safety lanyard.

 If at any point during training the instructor/competent adult considers that the competitor is driving in a dangerous or unsafe manner the session should be aborted immediately either by asking the competitor to throttle back or by operating the safety lanyard. All competitors and the accompanying instructor/competent adult should wear lifejackets or buoyancy aids at all times when on the water. An additional safety boat should be made available if only one RIB is on the water.


Application forms upon request, sent by e-mail in word format so details can be typed clearly onto form. Only when completed form has been returned and verified, will your Juniors place be confirmed, remembering I do have a definite limit on total places available.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information:


Steve Troke
Home Phone: 01922 415608
Mobile: 07392545778

2016 and what a Year for South Staffs ! 

  • 13yrs  to 16yr  Age Group -  1st
  •  8yrs  to  12yr  Age group  -  3rd  

Aga Czartolomna standing pround in 3rd Place, Kamila Czartolomna stupendous National Champion again and The Champion of Champions!

Aga Czartolomna aged 11yrs did a Fanstatic job at the National Finals in Southampton on Sunday 25th Sept and made us all hold our breaths as the results were announced. We just knew it would be close,  She came in onto the rostrum in  3rd place with a frightning time of 1min 1 sec .  Alas she nearly drowned the Instructor with her reversing tight circles and gained a 5 sec penalty.  The winners however were just too good  on the day having a time of 58.5 sec  and  2nd place with 59sec ish.   So Aga would still have been 3rd, but on the day, winds and waves made boat handling very very tricky for all, and to get competitors with those times is  just outstanding.  We are all  pround of her efforts and to think her Sister was on the podium in the same position when she was 11yrs old -   How strange is that?

Then  we came  to  Kamila -   What can I say? We waited until around 1530hrs for their  over 13yr competition runs, the wind was picking up, the Committee Starting  Boat was a rocking with its bendy RYA Flag almost flat onto  the water at times.  Would they pospone, cancel?  No, off she went and by gum - did she go!   Perfect clear rounds on  both of her  runs.  Almost perfection throughout the whole course .   When they announced the over 13yr results , we were all still holding our breaths.  3rd place , 2nd place  and then....... had she actually picked up penalty points somewhere.......NO.....  INTO 1ST PLACE AGAIN.  WONDERFUL.  with a time of 56 seconds clear.  

But thats not all folks.  We had to wait until the presentations were over to discover who would be the New 2016 Champion , Now  that we knew, there was be  no quick getaway for the home leg.  Kamila would keep us waiting till the end.  The New Champion then had to do battle with last years Champion in the " Head to Head"  on the water,  again using the same tough course.

Kamila did her first run,  a clear faultless round and almost perfectly performed. The second run  - where she tried to push even harder - had a hicup on the Stop Mark - she stalled the  engine -  while trying to reverse stop too quickly.  The  wind just carried her away from the mark and,  knowing  she lost lost 4 seconds could not possibley  improve her last run time.  She retired like a lady, but at full throttle I might add.

The Reigning 2015 Champion had a great run but thankfully not a match for this young Lady on that Day.   Her time was once again 56sec.  Consistant  what.  I have also said a  True Champion has to be consistant ALL the time, whatever the weather throws at you, whatever the opposition.  True of any Champion in any sport. Fanstastic  for her to have won this title again and in such a powerful way.  Because Kamila won this event, it will actually bar South Staffs from entering next year in the over 13yr comp , but I expect the close times Aga is producing now and the Sisterly Needles being poduced, will  excourage and drive Kamila to even better things  - She HAS to defend her Champ of Champion Status.  After all, she is Kamils.

As most of of you know, Robin has had a spell in hospital , but we took him down and all had a great day.  It was also really good to see a few of South Staffs Members -  our Lady Commodore Annette along with  Anthony and Brenda  - to watch  the nail biting activities.  I know they all enjoyed the event. 

 Steve and Robin  ( now just climbing down offa the ceiling)

2015 Honda RYA Youth RIB Challenge

The 2015 West Midlands Regional Honda RYA Youth RIB Championships were held at South Staffordshire Sailing Club on 2nd May. South Staffs own Aga Czartolomna won the 8 to 12 years category with Henry Dugmore from Blithfield Sailing Club taking the 13-16 aged group. It was a day for family legacies and sibling rivalries with both Henry and Aga having older siblings who had already represented their Clubs at the National Finals in Southampton before - Henry’s older sister Elizabeth reached the finals in 2013 and Aga’s sister Kamila won the event in 2014. 


Over 20 spectators and helpers turned up from the host club to cheer the two youngsters on and after the event current champion Kamila showed she hasn’t lost any of her edge from last year with a quick and controlled display of powerboat driving in the boat she won in 2014. 

At the prize giving at the end Regional Organiser Steve Troke thanked Tom from the RYA, all of the helpers, spectators and the competitors.

More pictures from the 2015 Regional Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship can be found in our gallery HERE and a write up of the event can be found HERE.

Steve Troke and Robin Harper were interviewed recently by the RYA about why it is good for club's to get involved in the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship, you can read that interview HERE.

S.S.S.C Have Done it!

Kamila WINS the 2014 National Rib Championship! Kamila took first place in the over 13 year age group with a clear round and 1 second clear of her other very close opponent in 2nd place. Wonderful news for both Kamila and the Club!

Her Sister Aga, aged 9, came in a very respectably 10th place out of 16 entrants. I believe there was only 2 seconds between 4th and 10th place.  Plenty to come yet from Aga - very well done.

Thankyou to all who helped in whatever way so as to allow Kamila to help bring home for South Staffs yet another amazing  result.

News Story - LINK

RIB Presentation - LINK

YES......Off we go again!  2014  

Congratulations to our four young contestants who were entered into this years Area Finals held at Draycote Sailng Club Last Saturday, 14th June.  Due to circumstances this year, we were not able to give as much practice as we have in past years but our results were again magnificent,  and once again we were able to keep  the S.S.S.C  flag flying high.

In the younger age group - under 12yrs -  Aga Czartolomny battled  her way into 1st place with  Emily Howard fighting hard to come in 2 seconds behind 2nd place in 3rd.  They will make first class drivers in the future, as they are already showing an adults awareness of all apsects of Power Boating.  Fab-u-lous !  

In the older 13yr +  group, our very own "Ice Lady" - Kamila Czartolomny powered her way into 1st place and as we gentlemen do, Oliver Goodhead followed with a perfect 2nd place .  Oliver, a past contender didn`t have any real practice this year for this event. 

There will be a more formal factual artice following , but this year the contestants are using different boats that tend not to handle as well as our own craft, cavitating very easily and hooking.  It has been mentioned that all our candidates handled these problems with ease, ready to power Off/On when required.  They are already very good PB Drivers and I`m sure will be an asset to the Club in the future.

Past entrants to this prestious event, Ed Dutton and Mark Flemming have since progressed to become PB Instructors and are a genuine asset to the  South Staffs Power Boating  teaching Team 

Well done everyone ,  least of all the Parents, who have and will have to take time and monies to go to Draycote and now the National Southampton Finals in September.

Thanks must also go to both General and Sailing Committee`s for allowing this activity to continue.  We are a Sailing Club  at heart and that fact must never be forgotten.  I`m sure we will all reap the benifits at a later stage.  

Most of our teaching is  done at very low level speeds, teaching perfect, safe and controlled  manouvering at slow speeds at all times.

My thanks go to Robin Harper who is always ready to go out, wind or shine and help me.

Finally, I must thank all the Instructors who have helped out at various  times, Roy Alexander, Mark Flemming, Steve Finney, Steve Baker, Chris Beddow.

Steve Troke 

2013 Rib Challenge   

"We will keep the SSSC flag flying high." Those were the words I wrote a few weeks ago,  and by Golly - we did - Big Time.

Kamila Czartolomna kept her calm - as is usual - to power away to a storming victory over her competition in the under twelve age group.  It must be said that all the juniors in both age groups handled the boats in a real professional way and a credit to their Clubs in every way.  However, on this occassion, Ice cool lady as she is, she completed her first round with two penalty points.  I know what went through her head at that moment, but can`t understand Polish and even if I did, I certainly couldn`t print it!   Composed and ready to start her second, it was evident she was fired up.  This  run destroyed the oppossitions time, Big Time,  securing a fabulous time  of 1min 15 secs and No penalty points.  

Will Hawkins represented the Club at the very last minute in the over 13 yr age group, and what a  splendid job he did.  He had clear rounds and perfect boat control at all times.  He finally lost out to a great young lady from Blithfield S.C. by  just 4 seconds - and came in a really creditable  2nd place.  

The RYA will be posting a formal editorial so please keep watching the Web page for results and times.

As a added note, Kamila did have the fastest time overall by 20 secs, She is off to Southamption later in the year to again represent South Staffs S.C,  at the National Finals.  We wish her all the best.  

Although Will came in a creditable second, he will need to stand by just in case he is called at the last moment.

As you are probably aware, the Club has been going through a very difficult time as regards our safety boats. We are still one rib down due to the  engine break down.  With this in mind, we could not even begin to do any real  training and Kamila had only a few sessions where she drove and manourvered a Rib, with no high speed work .  Due to the same problems of not being able to offer any practice at all, Will Hawkins very kindly stepped into the breach and entered the competition.  In hind site, that was a very brave thing to do. Thank you Will.  And didn`t he do well!

Hopefully, between now and September, we may be able  to do a little training  - boats permitting -  and try to reduce her time by a few more seconds .  This is not done by going any faster,  but by  being  "At One With The Boat. ", and that will only come with general good, slow, driving practice.  

Steve Troke 07875 386436 - E-mail Trokie