Young Ebbin has the world at his feet
It has been an extraordinary summer to remember for promising sailor Christian Ebbin.
The Somersfield Academy student came on in leaps and bounds, and drew a line firmly under his potential after winning the Volvo Gill Optimist British and Open Championships in North Wales at the first attempt.
“I was only trying for top ten,” Ebbin said. “It was exciting to be on the podium.”
He added: “This was my first time at this regatta and also sailing in the UK. It was fun to be In Wales, where my instructors, Nathan Bailey and Tom Herbert-Evans, are from.”
The 13-year-old sailor managed several top-three finishes en route to the title, including a best showing of first during the qualifying series.
“It was good regatta, the competition was tough,” Ebbin added. “Organised. However, the wind was a little lighter than I would have liked.
“The conditions were very cold; much colder than what we’re used to here. I had to wear a wetsuit for the first time.”
As the nephew of Malcolm Smith, who knows a thing or two about winning international regattas, having won multiple Sunfish world titles, sailing runs through Ebbin’s veins.
He started sailing at age 5 and three years later made his first appearance competing overseas.
“Tom Herbert-Evans was my first coach and he made it fun,” Ebbin said.
“My coach, Nathan Bailey, and my high performance coach, Pablo Weber, continue to inspire me. I also get a lot of tips from my uncle Malcolm Smith and cousin Benn.”
As well as making is debut at the Volvo Gill Optimist British and Open Championships this summer, Ebbin also competed at the Optimist World Championship in Limassol, Cyprus, where he finished eighteenth in the silver fleet.
Although glory would elude him on this occasion, the experience still proved to be a memorable one for Ebbin.
“The experience was fun and I made a lot of friends from around the world,” he said.
“I was proud to be part of great team coached by Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association’s high performance coach Pablo Weber and my team-mates Ahzai Smith, Leyli Walker, Magnus Ringsted and Sebastian Kempe sailing for Bermuda.
“There were 264 sailors with the top five sailors from each country. All the sailors were very good, so I had to get a good start, as it was very hard to recover.
“The conditions were tough in Cyprus, with lighter winds than expected.”
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