Benn Smith bounces back after tough start
Benn Smith impressed on his debut at the ILCA Atlantic Coast Championships in Wrightsville, North Carolina, at the weekend.
The 21-year-old sailor rebounded from a poor start to the two-day regatta to secure a highly creditable fifth-place finish among the 30-boat racing fleet.
Smith posted three top-five finishes with a best showing of first in the fourth race competing under the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club banner in the single-handed standard Laser dinghy.
The seven-race series was reduced to five because of lack of wind, which put paid to Smith’s surge up the leaderboard on the second day.
“It was a pretty light-wind regatta with only five races being completed and a not so good first day, which put me on the back foot and had me hoping for at least three races on the last day to get a drop,” Smith told The Royal Gazette.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t get a drop due to it being so light and the race committee having to postpone races until later in the day.
“On the last day I won a race and placed fifth in the other, so I was feeling really good and far better than day one.”
According to regatta rules, when fewer than six races have been completed, a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores.
Smith’s compatriot, Campbell Patton, was also due to compete at last weekend’s regatta but was ruled out after suffering minor injury in a bike accident.
The two sailors are competing against each other for the right to represent Bermuda in the Laser at the inaugural Junior Pan American Games to be held in Cali, Colombia, from September 9 to 19.
“We are doing a three-event qualifier where our best three events are weighted based on calibre,” Smith said.