Smith has plans to take West Coast by storm
Benn Smith has high expectations as he continues his preparations for the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association LaserPerformance Single-handed National Championships in Santa Barbara, California.
The Bermudian sailor has targeted a podium finish at the championships and is confident he can achieve his objective while competing in the Olympic-class Laser dinghy.
“Last year I went to nationals and it wasn't a good performance by me,” Smith said. “But this year I really feel like I am contending to win it.”
The championships will be held on November 9 and 10 in Santa Barbara Channel and are being hosted by the Santa Barbara Yacht Club.
Smith qualified for the championships this month while representing the College of Charleston at the South Atlantic Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Men's Single-handed Championships in Miami, where he achieved five top-three finishes, including victory in the second race.
“The qualifiers didn't go as great as I hoped, with small errors such as being over the line three times,” he said. “But looking towards the big event in November, I have plenty of time to clean up the small problems, as my speed was really quick.
“I ended third overall in the qualifier even with these mistakes and I am really excited to get to nationals and have a go at a podium finish.
“If I continue concentrating on the process-oriented goals, then the performance goals will definitely come.”
Qualifying for the championships was crucial for Smith and his College of Charleston team-mates in their attempt to regain the national title that Yale narrowly pipped them to last year.
“Everyone on the team is motivated to win it back,” he said.