SWANAGE’S Sam Whaley has set his sights on a place in the world’s top-50 laser sailors after gaining a huge amount of experience across the continent.

Talented Whaley this season competed in one of the sport’s grandest events, having featured for the first time at the World Championships in Split, Croatia.

A member of the British Sailing Team, he then flew to the European Championships in Barcelona to gain further experience at the top level.

Speaking about the calibre of those competitions, Whaley said: “These were two tough events with tens of Olympians competing but it was great to be racing against the best of the best and I learned a lot from them.”

He added: “With my achievements over the summer, I am pleased to say that I have moved up to 73rd in the world rankings, which is very exciting. I’m aiming for the top-50 now.”

The 20-year-old also recently sealed victory at the Laser Inland Championships, held on the reservoir at Grafham Water.

Whaley claimed the standard class at the event, which featured a field of 43 competitors, with his brother Ben also landing top spot in the 61-strong laser radial field.

The pair also competed at the RS Aero Nationals held at Hayling Island Sailing Club.

And Sam stormed to success while battling against his younger brother, counting wins in all his races to seal the crown.