n Bermuda Sun file photo
World’s best: Peter Bromby’s fourth place finish at the 2000 Olympics helps illustrate the success of Bermuda’s sailing community has had at a global level. 
* Bermuda Sun file photo. World’s best: Peter Bromby’s fourth place finish at the 2000 Olympics helps illustrate the success of Bermuda’s sailing community has had at a global level. 
n Bermuda Sun file photo
World’s best: Peter Bromby’s fourth place finish at the 2000 Olympics helps illustrate the success of Bermuda’s sailing community has had at a global level. 
* Bermuda Sun file photo. World’s best: Peter Bromby’s fourth place finish at the 2000 Olympics helps illustrate the success of Bermuda’s sailing community has had at a global level. 

Is it time for sailing to be adopted as a national sport?

Tim Patton, president of the Bermuda Sailing Association, thinks so.

He was encouraged by the comments made by Premier Dr. Ewart Brown favouring national sports status for sailing during his round table discussion with the local media on Monday night. 

Dr. Brown was talking about the lack of success by Bermuda’s national sports football and cricket after being given millions of dollars during his administration.

Dr. Brown said: “But if at the end of that period we see no development from the youth up then I would say it’s time to question. I think the time is now to have more than those two national sports.

“I think it’s time to add some sports. I think sailing ought to be considered a national sport and I think that it should be adequately funded.

Patton said: "We have been talking about this for a long time and think that this recognition is long overdue. Sailing consistently has produced some of the best sporting results Bermuda has seen including Olympic finishes just shy of the Olympic podium."

Bermuda has had three near misses at the Olympics starting with Kirk Cooper's fifth place in Tokyo in 1960, Alan Burland's fifth place in Los Angeles in 1984 and Peter Bromby's fourth in Sydney in 2000.

At the first ever Youth Olympics in Singapore this summer, Owen Siese finished in sixth place.

Patton added: "There is so much raw talent coming out of WaterWise and the club youth programmes that all we need is some decent funding to provide facilities, equipment, management, support and a clear path from youth to adult elite status. 

“We are in the process of re-developing our Strategic Plan we presented to Government some years ago and hopefully we will gain some support.  Historically we have relied mostly on funding by the sailors personally, donations from the private sector and Elite Athlete and Solidarity funding via the Bermuda Olympic Association to compete on the world stage."