Wollmann surges up the leaderboard
Benn Smith and Cecilia Wollmann clinched their places in the Gold Fleet on day two of the Laser Midwinters East Regatta in Florida yesterday.
Provisional results showed Smith in 28th place with Wollmann breathing closely down his neck two places behind in 30th among the 100 entries in the Laser Radial after one throw out.
Both Bermuda sailors endured mixed fortunes sailing in the single-handed Olympic class dinghy in light and fluky breezes.
Wollman was in her comfort zone while Smith found the going tough in the lighter air.
The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club sailor, Wollmann, who qualified for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio at last month's Sailing World Cup in Florida, was a model of consistency, reeling off finishes of thirteenth and two fifteenths, to surge ten places up the leaderboard after starting the day in 40th.
The same, however, could not be said for Smith who slipped 12 spots down the pecking order after starting the day in sixteenth position.
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club/Spanish Point Boat Club sailor managed a 23rd, sixteenth and a worst score of 25th, which he discarded.
“It was light and shifty today, not my favourite conditions,” Smith, the son of former World Sunfish champion and past Bermudian Male Athlete of the Year Malcolm Smith, said.
“I had average starts and struggled to get back into the lead groups.”
Light breezes are forecast to continue today.
“Hopefully I can improve on my starting in the lighter winds,” Smith added.
Smith and Wollmann, who finished as the top sailor from the Western Hemisphere at the Youth Sailing World Championships in Malaysia in December last year, will look to make further inroads on the leaderboard heading into the final two days of the regatta.
Meanwhile, yesterday overnight leader Henry Marshall stretched his lead over the rest of the Laser Radial fleet from three to 12 points.
The Laser Midwinters East Regatta is being hosted by the Clearwater Yacht Club.
The regatta takes place from February 17 to 21, with all racing being held in the Gulf of Mexico West of Clearwater Beach.