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Campbell Patton inspired by impressive top ten showing at final Olympic Qualifier

Chasing his dream: Campbell Patton led Bermuda’s charge in the men’s ILCA 7 class at the Last Chance Regatta in France this week (File photograph)

Campbell Patton has done himself and Bermuda extremely proud by securing a remarkable top ten finish competing in the men’s ILCA 7 class at the Last Chance Regatta in France.

The 23-year-old held his own pitting his skills up against some of the world’s elite on the way to a seventh place finish among a formidable 61-boat fleet.

Patton had a best showing of first in the second race of the ten-race qualifying series on the way to clinching a spot in Friday’s medal race, where he finished fifth to jump one spot in the overall standings.

Inspired by his brilliant showing at the final Olympic qualifier in France this week, the promising sailor is now looking ahead to what he hopes will be a brighter future as he continues an unrelenting pursuit of his ultimate goal of representing Bermuda at that level.

“The work that I have done my whole life has led up to this point and I am ready to keep going,” an optimistic Patton told The Royal Gazette. “This is still a dream of mine to represent Bermuda in the Olympics, and I am going to keep pushing for that.

“I think I have shown this week that the level is there. I am right there and so I can only imagine what I can do in four years towards LA in 2028, so it’s exciting.

“I have had a couple of physical issues the last few months, so I am going to take a couple of months off out of the Laser for now to do some rehab.

“Hopefully I will be back in the boat in maybe a month or however long it takes to get back into shape, and then I'm ready to start the campaign (Olympics) for 2028.”

Patton was among a trio of sailors flying Bermuda’s banner at the regatta in France this week which also included Sebastian Kempe and Benn Smith, who finished eighteenth and 39th.

Despite having fallen short of their qualifying objective, Bermuda Sailing Association president Somers Cooper said he and his fellow colleagues are proud of the trio’s efforts on the water and progress they made at the event.

“Team Bermuda sailed their hearts out at the Last Chance Regatta this week and the Bermuda Sailing Association is very proud of the collective effort,” he said.

“I know they are disappointed that they fell short of the goal by inches. But the progress made, especially near the end of this Olympic cycle, has been enormous.

“Their commitment, hard work and focus over an extended period of time has paid off and produced excellent results.

“Campbell certainly found an extra gear at this regatta and it was great that he made it into the medal race.”

It now remains to be determined whether Bermuda will be granted a Universality spot in the men’s ILCA 7 dinghy to compete in the upcoming Olympic Sailing regatta to be held from July 28 to August 8 at Marseilles Marina.

“Bermuda now waits to see if the International Olympic Committee will award Bermuda one of the two Tripartite, aka Universality, spots for the Men's ILCA 7 dinghy,” Cooper added.

“Technically Bermuda is listed as an eligible country for universality within World Sailing.

“The Bermuda Sailing Association is in the process of investigating the correct path to properly declare our interest in being considered for one of these spots.”

To date 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.

Korean Jeemin Ha claimed the gold medal at this week’s Last Chance Regatta, with Estonia’s Karl-Martin Rammo and Malaysia’s Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy taking silver and bronze to round off the podium finishers.

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Published April 27, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 26, 2024 at 10:31 pm)

Campbell Patton inspired by impressive top ten showing at final Olympic Qualifier

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