Smith enjoying son’s sailing exploits

  • Medal man: Malcolm Smith, left, celebrates on the podium after winning silver in the Sunfish class at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 2003. Also pictured are Eduardo Cordero, of Venezuela, the gold medal-winner, and Raul Aguayo, of the host nation, who placed third

    Medal man: Malcolm Smith, left, celebrates on the podium after winning silver in the Sunfish class at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 2003. Also pictured are Eduardo Cordero, of Venezuela, the gold medal-winner, and Raul Aguayo, of the host nation, who placed third


Malcolm Smith, one of Bermuda’s most decorated Pan American Games athletes, could not be more proud to watch his sailing son, Benn, following in his footsteps.

During a career spanning seven Pan American Games, Malcolm won silver medals in the Sunfish class in Winnipeg, Canada, in 1999 and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 2003.

A three-times Sunfish world champion, he also represented the island at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, finishing 40th in the Lasers, the class his son will sail in Lima.

“I’ve been pushing Benn pretty hard from a very young age,” said Malcolm, whose final appearance at the Pan Am Games came in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2011.

“I love the sport and know about the positives that come from it; the friends you make and being able to go to all of the different games. This is just the beginning for him.

“When he was younger, I gave him lots of advice, but he’s now at the stage where he doesn’t need as much.”

Benn will be competing at Yacht Club Peruano in Paracas, where he missed out on securing automatic qualification for Lima by one spot, placing 21st at the Laser South American Championships in February.

He was, however, granted a universality spot after an application was submitted on his behalf by the Bermuda Olympic Association.

Although it will be Benn’s first experience of a major multi-sport event, Malcolm is confident his son will rise to the challenge while learning plenty against the region’s best.

“It’s going to be tough for him but he’s already been [to Paracas] to compete and train,” added Malcolm, who has not travelled to Lima.

“He’s dedicated and goes to one of the top [sailing] colleges in the United States, Charleston [in South Carolina]. He has been on the sailing team since he was a freshman and that’s really helped him a lot.

“Every time he goes to a regatta, we hire a coach for him. You learn something new every time you have a different coach; he’s been rotating through quite a few during recent years.

“The Pan Ams give you a good feel of what it’s like at the Olympics. Give Benn a couple of more years and I hope he’ll be right up there with some of these top guys.”

Malcolm cut his teeth at the Pan Am Games in the Lasers in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1987 before racing at Havana, Cuba, in 1991 and in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 1995.

However, it was not until the Sunfish, the class in which he grew up sailing in Bermuda, was added to Games in 1999 that Malcolm began to seriously challenge for the coveted podium places.

“We had a really large Sunfish fleet in Bermuda back then,” he said. “It was really good for me when it was taken into the Pan Ams in ‘99. It gave me an opportunity to compete in a class in which I stood my best chance of medalling.”

Also representing Bermuda in Paracas, a 3˝-hour drive from Lima, will be siblings Cecilia and Michael Wollmann in the Nacra 17.

“Bermuda needs to keep competing at this level of competition,” Malcolm added. “It does seem to be getting harder for sailors to qualify.

“I’m glad to see two teams going and I can remember when we had three or four teams at Pan Am.

“I’d like to see more. but give it time. We have a lot of good sailors on the horizon such as Sebastian Kempe and Christian Ebbin, who finished eighth and eleventh at the Optimist World Championship in Antigua last month.”

You must be registered or signed-in to post comment or to vote.

Published Aug 5, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 5, 2019 at 12:07 am)

Smith enjoying son’s sailing exploits

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon

  • Take Our Poll

    • "What is the most significant reason for Bermuda residents choosing to leave the island?"
    • Too small
    • 3%
    • Different way of life
    • 4%
    • Cost of living
    • 77%
    • Gang activity and general crime
    • 3%
    • Jobs/professional advancement
    • 8%
    • Education
    • 2%
    • Attitudes towards gays
    • 3%
    • Total Votes: 5235
    • Poll Archive

    Today's Obituaries

    eMoo Posts