Too young to drive? Not a problem for this powerboat driver

Briney Rigby started powerboating at 10 years old, now she will race in the world championship. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Briney Rigby started powerboating at 10 years old, now she will race in the world championship. Picture: Geoff Jones.

She doesn’t even have her driver’s license yet, but Briney Rigby can handle a powerboat at speeds on 75mph.

The 15-year-old Wisemans Ferry powerboat driver has been sounded out by the Swedish national team to drive one of their boats in the UIM World Championship.

“I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to go to Italy to crew with one of the formula 2 drivers and I met the Swedish F1 driver Jonas Anderson and he offered me a drive,” Rigby said.

Rigby will race over four rounds starting in China on October 5, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai in a formula 4 boat in 20 minute races where the winner will be determined by the number of laps completed in that time.

The Arndell Anglican College student admits she’s nervous, mainly due to the fact that she’s only raced four times in a formula 4 boat.

“I get butterflies every time I think about it,” she said.

“This will be the hardest racing I’ve done. There’s only fields of two here in Australia but there will be nine overseas so it will be very tough.”

She said the mental battle will be the first thing she’ll have to overcome if she’s to impress against some of the world’s best drivers.

“I’m not quite there yet. I don’t have 100 per cent confidence in myself but the more laps I do the more confident I’ll get,” she said.

“There will be a lot of pressure because the boat I’ll be driving is leading the series at the moment so there will be pressure to quickly adapt to a boat I’ve never driven before and to courses I’ve never seen.

“It’s a massive opportunity. It might open a few more doors up and might keep me going for a few years yet.”

Powerboat racing is in Rigby’s blood.

She started at just 10 years of age and her grandfather, Alan Smith, was recently awarded an OAM for his services to the sport.

The Rigby’s are currently raising funds for the trip, and anyone who wishes to sponsor or support Briney and call 4579 1291.

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