A sad news for the Snipe Class. Axel Schmidt passed away today.
He was three times Snipe World Champion, sailing with his twin brother Erik (1961, 1963, 1965). The first World Champion from Brazil.
Snipe World Champion:
- Rye, New York, USA, 1961
- Isle de Bendor, France, 1963
- Las Palmas, Grand Canary Island, Spain, 1965
Pan American Games:
- 1st place in Lightning at Chicago 1959
- 2nd place in Lightning at São Paulo 1963
- 7th place in Star at Acapulco 1968
- 6th place in Soling at Kiel 1972
By Ricardo Lobato
This Sunday we lost Axel Schmidt. His history mixed with the history of Brazilian Sailng. Son of the Danish Preben Schmidt, Axel started sailing Hagen Sharpie built by his father at their club. Then he joined his twin brother Erik in Snipes, founded the fleet 477. Then they won the first world championship of the Brazilian Sailing in New York (1961), Bendor, France (1963) and Canary Island (1965). It was a golden era for Brazil with the Soccer team, Maria Ester Boeno (Tennis), who also passed away two days before him, Eder Jofre (Boxe) and Bruno Hermanny (Spearfishing).
He also was Gold and Silver Medalists at the 1959 and 1963 Pan American Games in the Lightning class. He participated in the Olympic Games of Mexico 1968 and Munich in 1972. In offshore sailing, he was helmsman of the sailboat “Pluft” in the conquest of the Regata Buenos Aires – Rio. He was the helsman of Pluft still in the traditional Admiral’s Cup in England. With his “Osprey” sailboat, Axel won the Santos-Rio Regatta and the Ocean Sailing Rio Circuit.
When I started sailing, Axel had already stopped racing. However, he was a very active sailor up to his 79 years. He was always talking about sailing at Rio Yacht Club bar. His stories were very funny. He was also willing to teach newcomers to the Snipe Class like me. It was from him that I heard for the first time about jib sag and tight versus lack shrouds. Their nephews, Torben and Lars, recognizes his importance to their racing success.
The Sailing in Brazil is a bit sadder.
From Lars Grael Facebook page:
Vela Brasileira perde um dos seus maiores nomes. Neste domingo perdemos o Tio, professor e comandante Axel Schmidt. Filho do dinamarquês Preben Schmidt, Axel e seu irmão gêmeo Erik, foram os primeiros campeões mundiais da Vela brasileira. Únicos a sagrarem-se Tri-Campeões Mundiais consecutivos da classe Snipe. Medalhistas de Ouro e Prata nos Jogos Pan-Americanos de 1959 e 1963 respectivamente na classe Lightning. Participaram dos Jogos Olimpicos do México 1968 e Munique em 1972. Na Vela de Oceano foi timoneiro do veleiro “Pluft” na conquista da Regata Buenos Aires – Rio. Timoneou o Pluft ainda na tradicional Admiral’s Cup na Inglaterradc67. Com o seu veleiro “Osprey”, Axel conquistou a Regata Santos-Rio e o Circuito Rio de Vela de Oceano. Pai de Ingrid e Anders, Tio Axel foi abençoado por ter a melhor esposa que um marido pode ter, a inigualável Moema. Dedicou-se com o irmão a capacitar e formar os sobrinhos na Vela. Desta dedicação, vieram Torben e Lars Schmidt Grael. Foi Comodoro do centenário Rio Yacht Club (Sailing) em Niteroi. A Vela brasileira agradece ao campeão. Nós agradecemos ao mestre. Veleje em paz.