Slow start for Smith in Paracas
Benn Smith finished sixteenth and nineteenth in the opening two races of the Laser class at the Pan American Games today.
Smith, 20, finally got his campaign under way after a frustrating start to his event after the first two days of competition were cancelled because of a lack of wind.
“It was tough and I didn’t have a great start in the first race,” Smith said of yesterday’s make-up day. “I wasn’t really able to execute my plan.
“In the first race my boat speed was good and I was able to catch up a few boats. However, I wasn’t really able to dictate where I wanted to go just from being covered from other people.”
Smith, who had a 2½-hour wait on the water before his first race because of a lack of wind, added: “The boat felt pretty slow in the second race. It was a bit windier but usually I’m OK in that sort of wind.
“Maybe I just wasn’t totally switched on. It’s only two races and there are eight more to go. We’ll see how tomorrow goes with three races.”
Smith is nineteenth overall out of 22 boats with 35 points after two races.
Siblings Cecilia and Michael Wollmann placed seventh, ninth, eighth and seventh after the opening four races of the Nacra 17 class yesterday.
The Wollmanns are eighth in the standings on 31 points.
Cecilia said she was encouraged by their first day’s performances and believes the pair will improve throughout the regatta.
“Another long day waiting around for the wind to fill in and luckily it did today, Cecilia said.
“It was about 12 to 14 knots when we got out there and that was quite nice for the Nacras.
“We had really good boat speed today. We’re just looking to improve our small fleet tactics.
“It’s a bit different from when you’re competing against 40 other boats on the start line. We’re improving with each day and hopefully we will improve more and more as the regatta goes on.”
Michael Wollmann, who is serving as crew, added: “We felt fast today. We just made a few mistakes that cost us places. We’re hoping that there are still many races to come so we can climb up the rankings.
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