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Campbell Patton clinches spot for Bermuda in Pan Am Games

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Campbell Patton secured Bermuda’s spot in the Pan American Games ILCA 7 class competing in Clearwater, Florida, at the weekend (Photograph supplied)

Campbell Patton has expressed his delight after clinching Bermuda’s spot in the Pan American Games at the weekend.

Competing in the ILCA 7 class at the US Open Sailing Series in Clearwater, Florida, the 21-year-old placed twelfth among the 31-strong fleet, which was good enough to secure the fifth and final qualifying spot up for grabs at the regatta.

“I am very happy to have got the spot and also very relieved as there was a lot of anticipation leading up to the event,” Patton told The Royal Gazette. “I have been preparing for the last couple of months for this event and training in Australia with some fast sailors there, so that had a positive impact on my results.

“I have been working really, really hard for the last few months. I did a lot of fitness work and was hoping there was going to be some windy conditions on Clearwater because I wanted to put my fitness to the test.

“I think I am the fittest I have ever been right now but unfortunately the first two days of racing were cancelled because the conditions were not suitable so that left only two days of racing to get the job done.”

Campbell Patton in action in Florida at the weekend (Photograph supplied)

Patton posted finishes of 4, 12, 18, 11, 11, 6 and 22, and finished with 44 points after discarding his worst two scores.

“I had a good race to start the regatta with a fourth and then a middling first day,” he said. “Then, on the second day, I had an eleventh, sixth and then a drop race [22] with the last race of the regatta.

“The two days of sailing we did get were medium strength, shifty winds with some choppy waves,” he said. “Some tide was also a factor affecting the racecourse. It wasn’t the most challenging physically, but it was definitely a little bit volatile at times, so it required some resilience.

“You had to keep holding on and stay in the game in some of these races. I had some good downwind speed which helped me climb back in races where I was not going so well.”

Campbell Patton in action in Florida at the weekend (Photograph supplied)

While Patton coped best among the island’s sailors, just who gets to represent the island at this year’s Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile will ultimately be determined by the highest-ranked sailor among Patton, Sebastian Kempe and Benn Smith, who also competed in Florida at the weekend.

“I was fortunate to be consistent enough that I safely secured the spot for the country but we won’t know who will represent Bermuda until later in the year,” Patton said.

“Overall, I am very happy to get the spot and I see a lot of growth for improvement in my performance, but I still would have liked to have done better.

“I was on a three-way tie with tenth and eleventh and finished twelfth in the regatta overall, but I would like to be pushing towards the top five in the future in that kind of wind.”

Kempe and Smith placed 18th and 23rd respectively with Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador and Ecuador clinching the other Pan Am Games spots available in the ILCA 7 fleet.

Also flying the island’s flag in Florida was Adriana Penruddocke, who placed 13th among the 65-strong ILCA 6 class.

Penruddocke last year clinched a spot for Bermuda for the upcoming Pan American Games, to be held from October 20 to November 5.

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Published February 07, 2023 at 7:53 am (Updated February 07, 2023 at 7:54 am)

Campbell Patton clinches spot for Bermuda in Pan Am Games

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