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Bermuda’s male sailors miss out on universality spot for Olympics

Sebastian Kempe (File photograph by Thom Touw)

Bermuda’s last hope of being represented in the men’s ILCA 7 class at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer have been officially dashed after they failed to secure one of the universality spots granted by the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC awarded the two spots available to British Virgin Island’s Thad Lettsome and Saint Lucia’s Luc Chevirer. He is a training partner of Campbell Patton, who along with Sebastian Kempe and Benn Smith, failed in a final attempt to qualify the country outright in the Last Chance Regatta in France last month.

Patton led the island’s charge at Hyeres, in which he placed an impressive seventh among the formidable 61-boat fleet featuring some of the world’s elite sailors. The 23-year-old had a best showing of first in the second race of the ten-race qualifying series on the way to clinching a spot in medal race.

Kempe and Smith, who both failed to qualify for the medal race, finished eighteenth and 39th respectively.

Despite having fallen short of their objectives, Bermuda Olympic Association president Peter Dunne has praised the trio’s efforts on the water.

“It was an amazing regatta for Campbell as well as Sebastian and Benn,” Dunne told The Royal Gazette.

“The racing was not only full of strong individual races, but to see three Bermuda men in an event of that stature shows how deep the sailing programme is in Bermuda.

“Of course we would like to see more Bermuda sailors return to the summer Olympic Games, recognising how challenging it is to qualify.”

Adriana Penruddocke is the only Bermudian sailor in action at the Olympics this year, with the action set to take place from July 28 to August 8 at Marseille Marina.

Cameron Pimentel and Cecilia Wollmann were the last Bermudians to compete in the Olympics, having done so in the ILCA 7 and ILCA 6 classes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016.

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Published May 15, 2024 at 1:01 pm (Updated May 15, 2024 at 1:02 pm)

Bermuda’s male sailors miss out on universality spot for Olympics

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