Great Lakes Sailing Club’s Lachlan White teamed up with Tayla Reitman to take on the world at the Nacra 17 World Titles at the Yacht Club de La Grande Motte in France on September 5 to 10.
The 19-year-old started sailing at the Great Lakes Sailing Club Wildcat Regatta with his father Brett in a Hobie Tiger 10 years ago.
They continued sailing together for several years before Lachlan graduated to his own boat which has seen him travel the width and breadth of Australia to improve his skills and compete at major regattas.
Thus began a sailing career that has seen Lachlan sail in a variety of multihull classes including Youth Nationals in Viper 16s and Hobie 16s where he sailed with fellow Great Lakes Sailing Club sailor Ethan Whyte to finish second in the Hobie 16s in Perth.
Lachlan’s skills on the water and determination to succeed caught the eye of selectors for the Australian Olympic Sailing Team.
In recent years, Lachlan and his Melbourne-based skipper, Tayla Reitman joined forces on the Nacra 17, a mixed crew fleet, with the ultimate aim to be sailing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
Lachlan and Tayla recently travelled to Kiel in Germany for the Nacra 17 European Nationals where they placed 10th in their first international regatta as a team.
They trained for several weeks in Europe and then to France to compete in the centreboard division of the Nacra 17 World Championships to gain international experience whilst awaiting the imminent arrival of their brand new foiling Nacra 17.
This will be a new and exciting learning curve for the team as they prepare for the Olympic Games.
Whilst the centreboard version sits in the water like a traditional sailing boat, the foiling version flies above the water with only the centreboard and rudder in the water in the same way that the recent America’s Cup boats performed.
Lachlan and Tayla sailed nine races in the division, with their best result being a second place on the last day of the regatta. This saw them finish in sixth overall.
This was an exceptional result, given the short time the team had been sailing together and their limited international exposure.
Lachlan’s father Brett described the European training as “an essential part of the team’s preparation and a very satisfying result as they prepare for the arrival of their foiling cat in the next few weeks.”
“Lachlan was extremely pleased with the regatta, they haven’t got as much experience internationally as some of the teams so it’s great to see them in the mix.
“They had good speed upwind and were improving their downwind speed throughout the whole regatta.”
Lachlan has returned to Melbourne where he is studying engineering at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and awaiting the arrival of the foiling Nacra 17.
Currently Lachlan is hoping to return to his roots and compete in this year’s Wildcat Regatta at Great Lakes Sailing Club which starts on September 30 and will see over 100 boats competing in the picturesque waters of Wallis Lakes, adjacent to Booti Booti National Park.