During the first event of the US Sailing Team trials, Smith was plagued by equipment failures. Before the start of the Sailing World Cup Miami, he and his team made major adjustments to his boat, but he says they ran out of time to test the changes. On the third day of racing, his boat dismasted, and the next day, both bilge pumps failed, swamping him. Three points behind in the trials, he spent three months before the final event repairing and improving his 2.4mR, named Kanaloa. It was in Hyeres, France, that he won the Olympic berth and turned his sights to Rio.