Bermuda Youth Sailors Leading In New Zealand

January 22, 2017

The 2017 Forward Sailing O’pen Cup is underway in New Zealand, with two young Bermudian sailors making an excellent showing, with both Azhai Smith and Christopher Raymond leading their respective fleets.

Ahzai is the current leader in the Gold Fleet with 8 net points, while Christopher is the current leader in the Silver Fleet with 7 net points.

The sailors, both aged 12, flew to New Zealand earlier this month with AC Endeavour Program Coordinator Leah Collis to compete in three regattas.

Both students participated in the 2015/2016 AC Endeavour program. Based on student performance and attendance at the Bermuda Sailing Nationals, instructors from the East and West forts nominated the students.

Ahzai of Warwick Academy was the top performer at the Championship Fleet and Christopher of Mount Saint Agnes was the top AC Endeavour performer at the Green Fleet during Nationals.

Ahzai and Christopher Bermuda January 13 2017

Tom Herbert-Evans, Community Sailing Manager, ACEA, previously said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these two young Bermudians and I really hope it inspires them and gives them a lifelong passion for sailing.

“They will return to Bermuda with new friends, improved sailing skills and a different look on the world.”

Speaking on the opportunity, Ahzai said, “It’s all a bit unreal! We flew a long way to get here, and that was an experience in itself, but to be here in New Zealand, competing against such good sailors, it’s just amazing.

Christopher said, “I feel really lucky to be here and thank you to everyone who made this all happen. I’ve learnt so much so quickly, not just about sailing but about how great travel is and although I’m loving my trip to New Zealand, I can’t wait to get home to Bermuda and put what I’ve learnt into practice.”

The results from the first day of sailing are below [PDF here]:

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Comments (6)

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  1. Juice Box says:

    Awesome news. Soak up the experience young men. Hard work, a great attitude and determination will continue to open many doors for you

  2. Ms. Poli Tician says:

    Wow! Awesome. Nice job Azhai and Christopher. You do Bermuda proud and I am so grateful to you both. Also, thank you AC Endeavour.

  3. Safety says:


  4. Point boy says:

    Just awesome guys. Well done! I really hope the Unions don’t take away all the hard work you’ve put in!!

    With this experience and exposure! Anything can happen. I hope for success for both (all) of you. Job Well Done

  5. Ringmaster says:

    What a great start result and well done to both of you. I’m sure you will do very well in the series. You and your families are clearly very proud, and all should be. This is an excellent example of the spin off from the America’s Cup and thanks to the AC people involved. Great to see the youth taking advantage of the opportunities and benefiting from it.

  6. Aware says:

    Great job guys and thank you Americas Cup.