Encouraging start for Benn Smith in Florida regatta
Bermuda sailor Benn Smith is off to solid start at the International Laser Class Association Midwinter’s East regatta in St Petersburg, Florida.
The 22-year-old sits in third, four points adrift of joint leaders Daniel Escudero and Chapman Petersen, in the Standard ILCA 7 class after the opening three races of the ten-race series being contested east of the St Petersburg Pier.
Smith posted a 4-3-7 record yesterday, which he is keen to build upon, when competition in the single-handed Olympic class dinghy resumes today.
“It’s been a good start to the event with much to improve on,” he told The Royal Gazette. “The day was forecasted to be 12 to 18 knots, but started with five to ten knots for the first race.
“I felt pretty quick in the chop and was able to replace some things on the boat the past couple days, which seemed to help.
“For race two it was ten to 15 knots and I felt very fast off the start, which put me in top two for most of the race. I should have came second in the second race but ended up misreading the layline and losing one boat on the final upwind.
“Overall, very happy with how I had two great starts in both races and how I stayed consistent throughout the day. Hopefully tomorrow [today] I can fix the small mistakes I made and can progress forward.”
Smith has already enjoyed success in the ILCA standard rig having earned the silver medal at the International Laser Class Association and US Singlehanded Championship in Norfolk, Virginia, last summer.
He also placed an impressive sixth in his final appearance at the ICSA Men’s Open Single-handed National Championship in Newport, Rhode Island and seventh at the Junior Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia.