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Patrick Cooper and Kelsey Durham set for IOD World Championship

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Local sailors Patrick Cooper and Kelsey Durham to lead Bermuda’s charge at IOD World Championship in Norway (File photograph by Paul Robbins)

Local sailors Patrick Cooper and Kelsey Durham are hoping to excel at the International One Design World Championship in Norway.

Cooper retained his title at Bermuda International Invitational Race Week regatta in the Great Sound last month after finishing two points clear of compatriot Durham and the pair are hoping to continue their good form among a formidable 20-strong fleet on the waters of Hanko, with the competition starting on Saturday.

Cooper is making his fifth appearance at the championship and will be competing with crew Martin Siese, Andrew Butterworth, Bill McNiven and Craig Davis.

Patrick Cooper (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

“The level of competition is going to be high with multiple past world champions racing,” Cooper told The Royal Gazette.

“I have raced against most of the competitors but not the Norwegians or Swedish.

“None of the crew has ever been [to Norway], so getting used to local knowledge quickly will be key.”

Cooper’s best showing at the world championships came in Bermuda in 2022 when he finished third and the experienced helmsman’s preparations for this event have not been without setback after he was forced to draft in bowman Davis as a replacement for Melinda Bessey, who has been ruled out through injury.

Durham is going into the event high on confidence and is excited to make his debut at the championships.

“This will be my first time to Norway for sailing,” he said.

“I have been to Switzerland and other European countries, but never to Norway. This will also be my first IOD World Championship as I am new to the class.”

Durham is competing with crew Nico Stefani, Heath Foggo, Roger Beach and Michael Richold.

“I am pretty confident that we are ready and we have been training and sailing well since Bermuda International Invitational Race Week,” the 30-year-old helmsman said.

Kelsey Durham (File photograph)

“We had a good year last year racing with the Nationals and other regattas,” he said.

“I started racing IODs doing match-race regattas such as the King Edward VII Gold Cup, which I competed in twice. Then I started doing more fleet racing and started to love the class. The IOD is a great boat and will really test your sailing abilities.”

Back to defend his title is multiple regatta winner John Burnham.

The American, who is representing the Fishers Island IOD fleet, is also a multiple Bermuda International Invitational Race Week champion.

Local sailor Blythe Walker just missed out on the podium after finishing fourth at last year’s IOD World Championship in Nantucket, Massachusetts, with crew Julia Lines, Josh Greenslade, Hugo Barney and Leyli Walker.

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Published June 12, 2024 at 1:16 pm (Updated June 12, 2024 at 1:17 pm)

Patrick Cooper and Kelsey Durham set for IOD World Championship

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