Witt at rugby Sponsors Night

RUGBY and sailing are an odd mix, but for David Witt they have been a large part of his life.

Witt, a successful rugby coach and Australian sailing legend, will be a guest speaker at the Grafton Redman Sponsor’s Night tomorrow.

In what should be an entertaining night, Witt will talk about his exploits on the rugby field and his adventures sailing the high seas.

A former 18-foot skiff world champion, Witt took up the offer through his connections with Grafton and the rugby club.

“I was contacted by Sam Gerard who played rugby in Brisbane and I’m a good mate of Sam’s uncle,” Witt says.

“I’ll obviously be talking about rugby and yachting but it will be more about rugby clubs and how they can be successful.”

Witt’s coaching career is impressive. He coached West Brisbane in premier grade for four years, winning the title in 2006, and was at the helm when Central Coast won the final of the NSW Country championships in 2005.

Before he took up coaching Witt played first grade with Southern Districts and Parramatta in the Sydney rugby competition.

“I grew up in Cronulla and loved being near the water. I played rugby in winter and did sailing during the summer months,” he says.

“You may have seen the yachting races on Channel Nine during the lunch break in the cricket.”

Witt is no stranger to sailing and has competed in 15 Sydney to Hobart Yacht races – including the 1998 tragedy – as well as Around the World competitions.

“I was aboard Nokia in the 1998 Sydney to Hobart, it was rough going. We were fortunate enough to finish but six sailors died and five boats sank... it was a dark day in Australia’s yachting history,” Witt says.

It has been a life full of ups and downs for the 39-year-old sportsman who now runs a successful golf course in Brisbane.

“After I gave up playing rugby I became a professional yachtsman then moved back into coaching. At the moment I own a golf course in Brisbane, Karana Downs Country Club,” he says.

The Sponsor’s Night is being held at the Village Green with a 6.30 start. Tickets are still available for those interested in attending.

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