By John Roberson


Dave Whait, of South of Perth Yacht Club was the top Western Australian at this year’s Laser Masters’ World Championships in Split Croatia, finishing seventh in the 69 strong Standard Masters’ fleet. This was a great result for Dave, given the light winds, which we are not used to in W.A.


His best place was a fourth, and other than a discarded 41st, he only counted top fifteen places in his scoreline, a very consistent series. Dave has put in hours and hours of training over the past year, and this result was a great reward for a devoted effort.


As well as the relentless training regime he has maintained, Dave has shed the kilos, which must have helped his performance in a series that was plagued by lack of wind, and didn’t see a race sailed in more than 12 knots of breeze.


Other Western Australians to make the journey to Split were WALA president Bruce Utting and John Roberson, both struggled in the light conditions, with Bruce taking 43rd in the Standard Grand Masters, and John 10th in the Standard Great Grand Masters.


It is a shame that such a beautiful venue didn’t produce an event to match. On the first two days of the regatta there were no races at all due to lack of wind, and on another day the fleet spent eight hours afloat, and only finished two races.


Australians bought home more than their fair share of prizes, with four winners, two second places and fifteen Aussies scoring top ten places in their categories. Brett Beyer from Sydney won a record equalling 13th world championship, taking the top spot in the Standard Masters.


The other Aussie winners were Radial Grand Master Martin White, Radial Legend (over 75) Kerry Waraker, and Women’s Radial Grand Master Lyndall Patterson. Sydney sailing legend, Mark Bethwaite was pushed into second place in the Standard Great Grand Masters by Germany’s Michael Nissen.