Evans remains hopeful
Rockal Evans remains within striking distance of his aim for a top-five finish despite falling slightly on the leaderboard at the Ronstant International Finn Australian Championships in Brisbane yesterday.
The Bermudian sailor started the day in eighth and looking to make inroads on the leaders.
Things seemed to be going Evans’s way after he posted fifth and third place finishes in the third and fourth races of the ten-race series.
However, he lost momentum after being disqualified in the final race of the day for going over the start line early.
“The [race committee] put up a flag, which means you can’t be over early within one minute of the start, and I was over the line like 50 seconds and so I was disqualified,” Evans, who is bidding to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, explained.
“But at the actual start of the race I was behind the line but then they blew another whistle signalling that somebody has been disqualified and then I saw the flag up that meant I couldn’t be over within one minute and I knew it was me.”
Evans, who is now based in Sydney where he hopes to enhance his chances of Olympic qualification, was scored with a 30th place finish for the infringement which resulted with him slipping two spots in the standings to tenth with a drop to come after the next race.
“I will drop that [30th] but will have to carry the tenth,” Evans, who is ranked 51 in the Finn world rankings, said.
Disqualification aside, the grandson of late Bermuda Olympic sailor Howard Lee thrived in the light air conditions which once used to be a struggle given his size in the first two races on Waterloo Bay.
“It’s a good feeling and such a relief getting faster in light air because normally light wind is my weakness,” Evans, one of only four foreign sailors competing at the event, said.
Evans’s training partner and overnight leader Jake Lillie, of Australia, extended his lead in the 29-boat fleet from two to six points after nearest rival and compatriot Oliver Tweddell lost ground.
Another Australian, Lewis Brake moved up to third, a further nine points adrift.
The Finn dinghy is an Olympic class regarded as the most physical and tactical single-handed sailboat in the world.
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