Evans produces strong finish in Brisbane
Rockal Evans started off the new year with an impressive display on his debut at the Ronstant Australian International Finn Championships in Brisbane at the weekend.
The Bermuda sailor topped the international fleet and was sixth overall among the 29 entries in the field, with a highest finish of third in the ten-race series on Waterloo Bay.
“I’m happy with my result,” Evans said. “It was a really well-run regatta in really hard conditions as there were big wind shifts and lots of current running over the racecourse from the mouth of the nearby river.”
Evans went into the regatta targeting a top-five showing and remained on course of achieving his goal on the final day on Sunday.
He trailed fifth-placed Luke Elliott, of Australia, by two points going into the final two races.
Elliott stretched his advantage to four points after finishing two boats ahead of Evans in the penultimate race.
The pair traded positions throughout the first three legs of the four-leg race before Elliott found an extra gear on the last downwind run to give himself more breathing space.
But the momentum swung again when Evans found himself in a strong position in the final race after putting two boats between himself and Elliott on the first leg sailing upwind.
Elliott refused to roll over, though, and closed the gap on Evans on the next leg to set up a classic match race between the two rivals.
Evans tacked on top of his rival on the second and final upwind leg and forced him to sail on the wrong side of the course to allow other boats to come in between them.
However, Elliott’s superior speed downwind ultimately shone through, as he was able to pass two boats on the final run to the line to maintain fifth spot.
“It was a nail-biting moment for me,” the Sydney-based sailor said.
“Once I finished I waited at the finish to see the outcome, only to see him pass two boats right at the finish line.”
The host nation made a clean sweep of the podium.
Evans’s training partner Jake Lilley took top honours, with Oliver Tweddell and Lewis Brake finishing second and third respectively.
Evans, who is ranked 51st in the Finn world rankings, is attempting to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
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