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Campbell Patton leads Last Chance Olympic regatta after day one

Campbell Patton in action on day three of the ILCA 7 World Championships

Campbell Patton is leading the ILCA 7 fleet after the opening day of racing at the Last Chance Regatta in Hyères, France.

The Bermudian sailor hit the ground running in the final chance for Bermuda to secure a spot at the Olympics and capitalised on good starts to post a sensational 6-1 record in the opening two races of the ten-race qualifying series.

“I had a good day today and obviously off to a good start, which is exactly what I was hoping for,” Patton told The Royal Gazette.

“It’s tricky conditions with offshore winds. It actually reminded me of sailing in the Great Sound a little bit, which is nice because it felt like home but a bit colder.

“Flat water, shifty conditions and medium winds and I had good starts, good speed and managed to play the shifts pretty well.

“I was happy with today and now looking to stay consistent throughout the rest of the week to get that all important Olympic qualification spot.”

Also getting off to a good start was Patton’s compatriot, Sebastian Kempe, who sits in ninth after producing finishes of thirteenth and seventeenth.

“Not the greatest of days but didn’t make too many huge mistakes and always came back to the racing pretty averaged positioned and looking good for the rest of the week,” the former ILCA 6 youth world champion said.

“It’s going to be a long week and I need to be consistent, so here we go.”

Benn Smith, the remaining Bermudian in action, sits in 28th after managing finishes of 30th and 33rd on the day.

“It was a tricky day, between 5 and 12 knots I’d say.” he said. “It was very tricky, very shifty.

“I was having great starts, great first beats but Had a few little mistakes at the gates and down winds that were kind of messing me up a little bit.

“I struggled a little bit with the second upwind beats but I think there was a lot of positives for me today with my starting and first upwinds.

“I think both races I rounded the top mark in the top fifteen and it’s just little mistakes that I need to fix, and hopefully I can come out strong tomorrow.”

Patton, Kempe and Smith are attempting to secure one of the four country spots available for the Olympics in the ILCA7 class at this regatta, which runs until Saturday.

Adriana Penruddocke is the only Bermudian sailor to qualify for the fast approaching Paris Olympics having secured her spot in the women’s ILCA 6 class at the Pan American Games in Algarrobo, Chile, last November.

The Olympic Sailing regatta will be held from July 28 to August 8 at Marseilles Marina.

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Published April 21, 2024 at 1:50 pm (Updated April 21, 2024 at 3:50 pm)

Campbell Patton leads Last Chance Olympic regatta after day one

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