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Campbell Patton happy to be back in the mix but expects more

Campbell Patton in action in the Laser dinghy (File photograph)

Campbell Patton says the Laser North American Championships in San Francisco were a good learning curve and believes he could have finished higher in the pecking order.

The promising sailor finished ninth among the 24-strong Laser Standard class, with a best showing of seventh, competing in his first international regatta in nearly two years.

“I could’ve done better, definitely,” Patton said. “It’s not the strongest showing that I’ve had, but when you put it in context, I haven’t raced.

“I’ve done one regatta in the last 18 months, so it’s not a bad start for getting back into the swing of racing on the international level.

“It was really great to get away and do some proper competition. It was a well-run regatta and I was just happy to get among it again.“

Campbell tested his skills in a formidable fleet and in trying conditions.

“There were some fast sailors there; good competition,” he said. “Mostly young guys around my age or a bit older.

“It was four days of windy weather and tricky breeze conditions mixed in with variable tide, which is something that coming from Bermuda we’re not used to.

“We had to adapt to be prepared to adjust our strategies according to the tide, which was a good learning experience and interesting.”

Also among the positives Patton took away from the experience were the speeds he achieved sailing downwind to the leeward mark.

“I was pleased with my downwind speed,” he added. “But I need to work on putting a little more weight on because I think I was one of the lighter competitors in the event, and that doesn’t do me any favours when it’s windy. That’s something I need to work on.”

Patton competed in the Laser Standard class along with compatriot Benn Smith, who finished twelfth with a best showing of third in the second of the ten-race series.

There was much at stake for both sailors, who are effectively 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.

Leo Boucher, of the United States, won the Laser Standard title.

Meanwhile, also representing Bermuda at the regatta was Nicole Stovell who impressed on her debut at the championships competing in the Laser Radial class.

The 16-year-old qualified for the Gold fleet en route to finishing 33rd in a fleet of 75, which exceeded her expectations.

Charlotte Rose, of the United States, topped the Laser Radial fleet.

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Published July 20, 2021 at 7:54 am (Updated July 20, 2021 at 7:42 am)

Campbell Patton happy to be back in the mix but expects more

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