SAM Whaley hailed the support of Joe’s Gym in Swanage after storming to victory in the prestigious Laser Nationals in Plymouth.

Following six days of competition, the 21-year-old finished top of the pile and emulated Sir Ben Ainslie, a previous champion in the event.

Ainslie went on to become the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, winning four gold medals and one silver medal across five Games.

Whaley said: "It’s a big achievement for me in the Olympic men’s single-handed dinghy and a huge honour with previous winners including Sir Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Paul Goodison.

"I’ve been working with Joe's Gym in Swanage for the past few months which has made a massive difference to my fitness in the boat.

"It’s been great to see substantial progress in my results over this year. I wouldn’t have been able to win the nationals without their support.

"I’ve also signed a new sponsorship deal with Sailing Chandlery, an online shop, and their support has allowed me to have the best equipment on my boat at all times.”

Whaley’s family moved to Swanage from Berkshire when he was 11 and he soon got bitten by the sailing bug.

The youngster hopes to represent Great Britain in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.