Model powerboat champ youngest to win world gold

Zack Humphries and his dad Dave in the lake after the race
Zack Humphries and his dad Dave in the lake after the race

A SHOREHAM man has become the youngest-ever world model powerboat racing champion.

Zack Humphries, 20, represented Great Britain as part of the senior team at the FSR-V World Championship in Dessau in Germany on August 8, and won gold in the 3.5cc class.

Zach Humphries on the podium

Zach Humphries on the podium

Rod McBeth, his grandmother’s partner, said: “He became, as far as we are aware, the youngest-ever world champion – and he won it by a lap.

“He was also in the final of the larger 15cc class boat but did not achieve a medal place.”

Six years ago, when Zack was part of the British junior squad, he represented Great Britain in the model powerboat racing world championships at the age of 14. The competition, his first world championship, took place in Leno in Italy and Zack brought home a bronze medal.

His father, Dave Humphries, who used to work at Ricardo in Shoreham, helped him to build his own boat.

They bought the shell and parts and then Mr Humphries, an ‘engine man’, set the radio-controlled model powerboat up for maximum performance.

Mr McBeth added: “Zack works with his dad on preparing the boats but being a whizz on a remote control, he races the boat around the lake. It really is very much a team effort.”

Zack, who is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Brighton, became involved in the sport after watching his dad compete.

He started competing in model powerboat racing in 2007, when he was a student at St Andrew’s High School in Worthing, and his first world championship was only a year later.

This year’s FSR-V World Championship saw 21 countries take part and a total of 481 boats. There were 13 people chosen for the British FSR-V team, competing in five classes.

Zack’s next event will be an international regatta in Germany.