Prize winners announced at the 2018 Yachting Western Australia Awards Evening

Ron Tough Yachting Foundation Gold Medal

John McQueen

Nominated by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club

John has been a special member of RFBYC and has volunteered for over 22 years in various roles. John also became Commodore of Nedlands Yacht Club and an accredited national race officer, conducting numerous club, state, national and international events. He was also the manager of the JESS program tour to Europe and had a role in training race officers and volunteers. He undertook training all of the on water volunteers for Perth 2011 and was a member of the organising committee for Perth 2011. He was chair of the Yachting WA Race Management committee, was on the Board of Management of Yachting WA and also on general committee at RFBYC. John has provided outstanding service to the sailing community in WA.

2018 Ron Tough Yachting Foundation Scholarship

Lachy Gilmour and Ryan Donaldson

Lachy and Ryan represent WAIS and the Australian Sailing Squad when competing on the Olympic Circuit in the 49er Class. They have a heavy training load with the goal of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The scholarship will assist with the purchase of new equipment which will help to push to qualify Australia for the Olympic games at the World Sailing World Championships in Denmark. Their competition schedule for the 49er campaign includes Princess Sofia in Palma, World Cup Hyeres, Kiel Week and ISAF Worlds Denmark.

Junior Sailor of the Year Ron Tough Bronze Medal

Micheal Compton

Nominated by Fremantle Sailing Club and South of Perth Yacht Club

At the Australian 4.7 Laser Championships, Michael won the title with a race to spare. The competitive fleet included 62 boats from 6 different nations. A week later, Michael went on to win the 4.7 Australian Youth title. Michael is developing into a great role model with his dedication and selfless attitude.

Youth Sailor of the Year

Romë Featherstone

Nominated by the 420 Association, Fremantle Sailing Club, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and South of Perth Yacht Club

Romë has had incredible success in the 420 Class the past year. Highlights include winning the 420 Youth World Championships in China, first in the 420 Australian Nationals, first in the French Nationals and 11th in the Open Worlds. His commitment and attitude is exemplary.


WA Match Racing Sailor of the Year

Mirsky Racing

Nominated by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club

After forming in early 2017, Mirsky Racing team is helmed by Torvar Mirsky, with Lachlan Gilmour, Cameron Seagreen and Damian Garbowski pulling the ropes has achieved impressive results on the World Match Racing Circuit including placing third at Match Cup Australia and winning the Match Cup China World Championships.. All four members coach and mentor aspiring young match racers at the RFBYC Sailing Institute while campaigning in their own sailing outside of match racing.

Sailor of the year - Male

Matthew Wearn

Nominated by Fremantle Sailing Club and Royal Perth Yacht Club

Matt has had a highly successful year representing both WAIS and the Australian Sailing Team in the Laser Class. After placing third at both World Cup Hyeres and the Delta Lloyd Regatta, Matt went on to win the World Sailing World Championships Test Event in Aarhus. At the Laser World Championships in Croatia, Matt consolidated his recent performances with an impressive third place. At the 2020 Olympic Venue in Japan, Matt placed second in the Enoshima Olympic Week regatta. His successful year was rounded out with further podium finishes at Sail Melbourne and Sail Sydney, and an overall win at the Australian Laser Championships.

Sailor of the year - Female

Nia Jerwood and Monique de vries

Nominated by Fremantle Sailing Club and the 420 Association

Nia and Monique represent Australia on the Olympic circuit in the 470 class as members of both WAIS and the Australian Sailing Squad. At their first 470 Open World Championships in Greece, the girls scored a credible 13th place and first Australian team. This result was backed up with a 2nd place at the under 23 World Championships in Enoshima Japan. The girls also sailed the Ladies 420 World Championship with an emotional win on home soil at Fremantle Sailing Club. Nia and Monique also coach and share their knowledge with the younger generation of sailors. Fremantle Sailing Club and the 420 Association are proud to nominate Nia and Monique as exceptional role models.

Sailor of the year with a disability

Genevieve Wickham

Nominated by Royal Perth Yacht Club

Genevieve is a dedicated and talented sailor who aspires to compete at a world level in the Hansa Class. Genevieve gained an enormous amount of experience competing in the Para World Championships in Germany 2017 and now has her sights set on the 2018 Para World Championships in Sheboygan USA.


Club of the Year

Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club

Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club caters for every level of sailing, from novice through to professional sailing, to help grow and support the sport. The club is proud to have many successful programs from Tackers, dinghy, keelboat, offshore, match racing to some of their standout programs like ‘girls who sail ‘, women who sail ‘. Adventurers club programs and a highlight of the year was the opportunity ti host the World Match racing Tour.. The clubs training centre continues to excel with a healthy increase in participants during the season. Resulting in leading Discover Sailing Centre in Australia.

RFBYC Sailing Institute program is hugely successful, enabling our experienced and professional sailors to coach and mentor young and enthusiastic sailors, using the BW8 keelboat fleet.

RFBYC is known around the world for its dedication and commitment to the sport

Instructor of the Year

Allan Polglaze

Nominated by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht club

Alan, or Poly, as he is affectionally known, is a talented and dedicated instructor. He has been heavily involved as a lead instructor for the Christ Church Grammar School sports programme and a lead instructor. Poly was a responsible for delivering 800 Keelboat Discover Sailing experiences across the two events. Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club is exceptionally proud to nominate Poly for his willingness to ‘go the extra mile’.

Official of the Year

Trevor Milton 

Nominated by Fremantle Sailing Club

Trevor went well above the call of duty in regard to offering his time and knowledge to the Sailing Community. His Involvement in the lead up to the 420 Nationals and Worlds was fantastic. He liaised with the PRO prior to the event to ensure that all on water race management ran smoothly. His commitment as Race Officer to other WA Clubs and their offshore/dinghy and regatta racing is appreciated by all.

Volunteer of the Year

Paul Harriss

Nominated by Princess Royal Sailing Club

Paul’s ongoing support of Junior sailing at Princess Royal has brought a large increase of junior sailors to the club. He organises juniors to attend regattas, including the transport of boats which has increased attendance from the club at many regattas. As a result of Pauls dedication and hard work, Princess Royal is flourishing.

Power Yacht Person of the Year

Frank Dalglish

Nominated by Cruising and Power Racing Committee

Frank has continuously been involved in the Power Yacht Community of Western Australia for many year and has been a strong advocate and supporter of Power Yacht Time Trialling. John has also spent many years on  Committees from the Power Yacht Section to the SoPYC Management Committee and moving through the ranks to become Commodore.

Coach of the Year

Ben Walkemeyer

Nominated by Fremantle Sailing Club and Laser Association

Having originally developed his sailing skills in the Laser class, Ben now spends his time at FSC and SOPYC working as a coach. Ben took an instrumental role in the most recent success at the 2018 Oceania & Australian Laser Championships, with FSC members winning medals in each of the three laser fleets. Bens charismatic and humble nature sees him already looking forwards as to how he can improve and share this knowledge with his fellow coaches.


Posted in WA, Western Australia