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Nicole Stovell qualifies for Gold fleet at Laser North American Championships

Benn Smith, left, competing at the Laser North American Championships in San Francisco yesterday (Photograph by Ruth Stovell)

Nicole Stovell put a huge feather in her cap after qualifying for the Gold fleet on her debut at the Laser North American Championships in San Francisco yesterday.

The 16-year-old qualified for the Gold fleet in the Laser Radial after producing another steady display in the single-handed Olympic class dinghy.

Stovell placed eighteenth in yesterday’s opening two races and 20th in the third to come back ashore 37th in the 75-boat Laser Radial fleet, which was good enough to secure her spot in the Gold fleet at the first time of offering.

Robby Meek, of the United States, leads the Laser Radial fleet by three points after five races and one drop.

Stovell is being accompanied on the West Coast by compatriots Benn Smith and Campbell Patton, who are competing in the Laser Standard class.

Smith placed ninth, twelfth and seventh in the three races contested to jump two positions from eleventh to ninth in the 24-boat fleet.

Patton remains twelfth after producing finishes of tenth, 25th and ninth.

The son of local Etchells sailor Tim Patton might have been higher in the standings had he not been scored 25th in yesterday’s second race for starting early, which he promptly discarded after the one and only drop came into effect upon completion of the fifth race of the ten-race series.

Smith and Patton are competing against each other in a three-event qualifier for the right to represent Bermuda in the Laser class at the inaugural Junior Pan American Games to be held in Cali, Colombia, from September 9 to 19.

Ford McCann, also of the United States, has a seven-point lead at the top of the Laser Standard class.

The Laser North American Championships feature 125 sailors from eight countries and are being hosted by the St Francis Yacht Club until tomorrow.

The event, which is also comprises the Laser 4.7 class, was delayed a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The race committee is aiming to complete three races today and two during tomorrow’s final day of the regatta.

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Published July 17, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated July 16, 2021 at 10:08 pm)

Nicole Stovell qualifies for Gold fleet at Laser North American Championships

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