Evans places thirteenth in Melbourne
Rockal Evans produced an impressive display at the International Finn Australian Championship which finished in Melbourne at the weekend.
The Bermudian coped reasonably well competing in challenging conditions and gruelling races on the waters of Port Phillip Bay to place thirteenth among the 40-strong fleet, boasting Olympic Games and World champions.
“My result was a really encouraging,” Evans said. “The regatta felt like a marathon because each race was over 60 minutes and a few around 70.
“The racetrack was challenging with short, steep chop for waves and shifty winds that never really settled each day. Ten to 15-degree shifts were normal during the whole event.”
Evans’s best showing during the ten-race series was in the second race on the opening day when he placed ninth.
“One of my main focuses at the event was my starts, which have been my weak point,” he said. “Out of ten starts eight were really good and I saw a massive improvement. I only got two of the starts totally wrong and couldn’t recover.”
The 30-year-old competed with new equipment on his Finn dinghy, which also helped his cause. “The new equipment was another step in the right direction,” Evans said.
“Thanks to Ed Wright, the 2018 European champion in the Finn class, for helping me improve my equipment and set-up.”
Evans has made Australia his training base as he bids to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
He is bidding to follow in the footsteps of his late grandfather, Howard Lee, who represented Bermuda in the single-handed Finn dinghy at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.
Giles Scott, the Olympic Games gold medal-winner, won the championship. Scott competed for British challenger Land Rover BAR at the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017.
The Finn is the longest serving dinghy in the Olympic Regatta and is regarded as the most physical and tactical single-handed sailboat in the world.
Meanwhile, elsewhere Down Under, Campbell Patton is coping well at the Australian Youth Championships presented by the Australian Maritime College in Tasmania.
The 17-year-old is competing in the Laser Radial fleet and is eleventh among the 37-strong fleet. Patton has a best showing to date of third, which he achieved during the opening day of the regatta.