NINE-YEAR old Riley Ford has been named NSW Powerboat Racing Champion after recent competition wins in Taree and Sydney.
Competing in the J1 Class for the youngest racers, competitors came from all corners of the State to show off their speed on the water in a bid for points.
The St Joseph’s Primary School student hit speeds of over 45 km/h to score comfortable wins in both competition rounds to claim the State Champion title.
Riley told News Of The Area competing in the sport was very exciting.
“I enjoy the speed, freedom and adrenaline that comes from racing and I really like being my own boss out on the water,” he said.
“It sometimes makes me feel a bit nervous, but it’s a lot of fun.”
The pint-sized racer became involved in competitive racing last year after watching speed boat competitions in Taree with his family.
Riley’s father Martin said the Sydney race was Riley’s first trophy competition.
“He didn’t expect to win and he was only in it for fun, we were all surprised when he came home with four trophies and a medal,” Mr Ford said.
“Now that he has taken out the State Championship, we are encouraging him to take it more seriously, and he’s got plenty of time to continue to improve as well.”
Children can participate in powerboat competition races from as young as eight-years of age.
The young racers use an engine of up to 6hp in controlled conditions while learning the fundamentals of racing.
Mr Ford said Riley will be racing smaller boats for 10 years before he is old enough to race in more powerful boats.
Riley will compete in the next round of the championship series in Port Macquarie later this month.
By Daniel SAHYOUN