Smith takes step closer to world title

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Smith, the current National Championship leader by a massive 250 points, is vying for the world title in a one-off three-race series against 22 other crews and, despite a collision on a turn with another boat, he went on to win.Florist Smith, the Jersey Sports Council’s 2003 Sports Person of the Year, said: ‘It was a good win.

I’m delighted but it was not without incident.

We got cut up by an Italian driver on a turn and both boats were damaged.

I had nowhere to go when he cut across my path so I hit him with the nose of the boat.

Thankfully we were able to continue and I’m really pleased to have won.’Smith, aboard Commodore Ferries C54, is one of four British crews out of a field of 23 pursuing the title in a monohull craft.

The other 19 challengers are racing catamarans and they have the advantage as their craft can reach speeds in excess of 100 mph.

Smith’s maximum speed is 80.’Winning shows how rough conditions were,’ he said.

‘I need conditions like the Force 4 we had yesterday to do well and, with the weather closing in, conditions look like suiting me for the next two races.’Smith paid tribute to navigator David Simpkins.

‘The course was really tight going around all the islands and David did an excellent job.

I could not have got this result without him,’ he said.’We were left for dead at the start because we don’t have the power on the flat fjord but half a mile out to sea we hit rougher waters, took the lead and never slipped back.’The final two races are tomorrow and on Saturday.

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