David Tillett

David Tillett


P: (08) 8216 3336


Yvette Connelly

David Tillett

P: (08) 8216 3336

David heads the Liquor Licensing Team for the DBH Commercial Law department.  He is the chairman of both Tillett Natural Stone Industries and Mintaro Slate. David is a past director of the World Sailing & Australian Sailing Organisations.  In March 2005, he was recognised as the 2004 Official of the Year by the Confederation of Australian Sports.  He is a member of the Executive of the South Australian Olympic Council and in 2012 was awarded for his service to sport with an Order of Merit.   David has officiated as a judge/umpire at the Olympic Games and Americas Cup.  David was recognised with an Order of Australia in 2014 for his extensive contribution and commitment to the sport of Sailing.


Order of Australia recipient (AM)

Member – Law Society of South Australia

Chairman – International Jury for Sailing at London Olympics 2012, Beijing Olympics 2008 & Athens Olympics 2004

Chairman – International Jury for the 34th America's Cup & 33rd America's Cup

Director (ex officio) – Australian Sailing

Council Member – World Sailing - The Governing Body for the Sport of Sailing

Director – Tillett Natural Stone Industries

Director – Mintaro Slate


Ruling the waves


As one of the world’s foremost yacht racing judges, David Tillett mixes with the highest echelon of yachting enthusiasts, with Prince Frederik of Denmark and the royal families of Monaco and Greece among them. He may not race but, like the athletes and competitors he judges, 60-year-old David is driven by a fierce competitive edge to be the very best in his field, having risen from humble beginnings in the Adelaide yachting fraternity five decades ago.

“That’s not so strange” insists David. “Adelaide produces a lot of great people who achieve a lot. It’s all about creating opportunities, then being driven to make the most of them.”

His journey began as a competitive sailor from age seven, sailing at Glenelg Yacht Club with his twin brother Christopher. His father Stephen (proprietor of S. D. Tillett Memorials) was a racing car champion, having won the 1951 Australian Grand Prix on handicap in an MG-TC, but mother Jill wanted her twin sons’ equally competitive streak realised in a less dangerous sport.

The Tillett twins were determined and focused on the water near their Glenelg North home from an early age. They took three state championships in Holdfast Trainers, then moved to international cadet class and – at the age of 12 – David set his sights on the world championship to be held in Hobart three years later, in 1969. The Tilletts were the first Australians to compete for seven years, and won the series comfortably, but their subsequent transition to Fireball class revealed a competitive problem; David was too small to crew for Christopher, and while they won races, they knew they would not be competitive at the highest level.

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