Percy’s local knowledge key for Bermuda
Bermuda will be among the countries participating at next month's Etchells World Championship in Cowes, England.
Tim Patton will compete along with Tom Herbert-Evans, the America's Cup's community sailing manager, and Richard Percy, the brother of Artemis Racing tactician and sailing team manager Iain Percy, in the one-design Etchells keelboat.
Percy, who runs the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, a charity set up in memory of the late Artemis sailor who died in a training accident in the lead-up to the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco, lives in England and his knowledge of the local conditions will be extremely useful.
“It is a tricky venue,” Patton said. “Richard will help a lot with local knowledge, tide and venue.”
Asked what his expectations were, Patton, who is making his 26th appearance at the Etchells World Championship this year, joked: “Cold water and warm beer!”
Patton competed at last year's Etchells World Championship in Hong Kong on board Chelsea Lady, helmed by Australian skipper Bill Steele.
This year's event will involve 61 teams from various countries, including defending champion Skip Dieball, of the United States.
Also competing is John Bertrand who led Australia to a famous victory over Dennis Conner's Liberty at the 25th America's Cup to end 132-years of American dominance in the regatta.
“They [teams] are all good,” Patton said. “More than half the fleet are professionally crewed, so it will be good to see if we can knock some of them off.”
The championship consists of a nine-race series and is being hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club in conjunction with the Cowes Etchells Fleet.
All racing will take place in the Solent, the same venue where the first race for the “Auld Mug” took place in 1851.
Patton's son, Campbell, placed second in the laser radial fleet at the Sail Canada Youth National Championships in Kingston, Ontario, this month and qualified for December's Youth World Sailing Championships in New Zealand.
“Cambo [Campbell] seems to raise to the occasion, especially outside of Bermuda,” Patton said. “He sailed out of his skin putting together a very consistent regatta.”