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Benn Smith and Christian Ebbin win Edward Cross Long Distance Comet Race

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Benn Smith, right, and Christian Ebbin won Edward Cross Long Distance Comet Race for the second time (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

The family that sail together ultimately win together.

That proved to be the case for cousins Benn Smith and Christian Ebbin, who won the prestigious Edward Cross Long Distance Comet Race yesterday.

The pair led the entire way before crossing the finish line in a time of 1hr 49min 32sec.

“It was a great to come away with a win,” an elated helmsman Smith told The Royal Gazette.

“We got a great start and led the whole race.”

Smith and Ebbin seized momentum from the outset after crossing the start line in St George’s Harbour at the favoured leeward end and had grasped pole position for good on the short beat towards the Town Cut.

The pair then extended their advantage on the short reach heading to Fort St Catherine and ultimately reaped the benefits of sailing conservatively straight down the rhumb line on the downwind run on North Shore towards the finish line in the Great Sound, directly offshore of regatta host West End Sailboat Club.

Benn Smith, left, and crew Christian Ebbin clinched a second Edward Cross Long Distance Comet Race title on Monday (Photograph supplied)

“Once we were ahead out of the Cut we really pulled ahead after that,” Smith added.

“There was some moments where Alan [Frith] went inshore and Max [Maxwell Curtis] went offshore and we just stayed down the middle, played it safe and we ended really good.

“I think Christian and I are a great team and really got the boat going fast.

“It was downwind for most of the race and we didn’t feel a lot faster downwind, but felt a lot faster than the other boats on the upwind and reach, and once we were ahead we maintained and extended a little bit just by staying straight down the rhumb line from Fort St Catherine down to West End Sailboat Club.

“The biggest challenge probably was deciding whether to go inshore with Alan or offshore with Max because you could go either way.

“I think offshore was the best route and Max ended up gaining a lot by going offshore, but we were able to consolidate our lead.”

This is the second victory in the race for Smith and Ebbin, who first won in 2022.

“The first was great with Christian and this win doesn’t feel as special, but every win is special,” Smith said.

Frith took second in 1:52:31 and rival Maxwell Curtis third in 1:55. Two-times winner Gladwin Lambert, who was making his 65th appearance in the race, crossed the line in fourth in a time of 1:56:40.

Rounding out the top five was Quinton Simmons, who went the distance in 2:00:30.

This year’s race was not without incident as five boats, including two with a broken mast, among the fourteen-strong fleet did not make it to the finish after suffering damage in trying conditions.

Curtis and fellow East End Mini Yacht Club helmsmen Scott Fox and Dale Brangman all capsized while at the front end of the pack but managed to recover to complete the race.

“The race was at the high end of the wind speed so it was going to be tough for everybody,” Brangman, the 2019 race winner, said.

“It was blowing really windy. Whoever got out of the Town Cut first basically won the race and Benn got out first, so it was a drag race to the finish.

“Benn got out first, then Alan, then Max and then myself and everybody else was pretty much in a line going from there.

“Then when we got close to the finish just before Boaz Island a big puff hit me and I ended up capsizing. Max and Scott capsized, so it was all about who could get their boat up first. A couple of boats passed me and Scott and that’s how I ended up sixth.”


1, Benn Smith and Christian Ebbin 1:49:32

2, Alan Frith and Sara Frith 1:53:31

3, Maxwell Curtis and Wesley Tucker 1.55:00

4, Gladwin Lambert and Stefan Maybury 1:56:40

5, Quinton Simmons and Gregory Proctor 2:00:03

6, Dale Brangman and Tajahri Rodgers 2:01:51

7, Lorenzo Lambert and Shane Morrissey 2:03:15

8, Scott Fox and Nijanae Pemberton 2:07:00

9, Rudy Bailey and Corey Bean 2:00:08

DNF Antione Wingood and George Swan

DNF Gregory Wade and Andrew Smith

DNF Zeniko Hendrickson and Zane Hendrickson

DNF Anthony Smith and Walter Smith

DNF Govannie Hayward and Eli Furbert

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published June 18, 2024 at 8:21 am (Updated June 19, 2024 at 8:17 am)

Benn Smith and Christian Ebbin win Edward Cross Long Distance Comet Race

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