Evans building towards dream

  • Sailing

  • Final hurdle: Bermuda’s Rockal Evans trains in the Finn in Miami before the regional qualifier for the Olympic Games in Tokyo

    Final hurdle: Bermuda’s Rockal Evans trains in the Finn in Miami before the regional qualifier for the Olympic Games in Tokyo

Rockal Evans has intensified preparations in the lead up to his Olympic Games qualifier in Miami, Florida.

The Bermuda sailor is competing in the Finn class for the sole qualifying spot from the North American region for the Olympics in Tokyo this summer at the Hempel Sailing World Cup Miami, which starts on Sunday and runs until Saturday.

Evans has been making the most of an opportunity to acclimatise to the local conditions since arriving in Miami from his training base in Sydney, Australia, well in advance of the regatta.

“I have been in Miami since January 1 and been training with my coach and two training mates from Canada and Ireland,” he said. “We have been doing gym workouts in the morning followed by intense on-the-water training for 2˝ hours a day.

“This is followed by a video debriefing with my coach, who as been teaching me loads of stuff about the conditions here in Miami and how to maximise everything I do on the water to get me the edge I need to secure the qualification spot.”

Evans hopes to fulfil a childhood dream of competing at the Olympics in the same class as his late grandfather, Howard Lee, who represented Bermuda at the 1976 Games in Montreal.

“Growing up, I spent more time on the water than on land in my free time,” Evans added. “This was driven by my late grandfather, Howard Lee, through his passion, drive and love for sailing.

“My grandfather was my role model, having represented Bermuda in the Finn class at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

“I grew up wanting to be just like him; having the same drive, passion and commitment for a sport we both love.”

Evans moved to Sydney in 2017 to take the opportunity to train with elite Australian and international sailors and preparations are right on track.

“For the last ten years, I have been working towards my dream of representing Bermuda at an Olympic Games and each year I have been building on turning this dream into a reality,” he said.

Siblings Jesse and Zander Kirkland are the last sailors to represent Bermuda in the 49er Skiff at the 2012 Olympics in England. The single-handed Finn is the longest-serving dinghy in the Olympic Regatta, having made its debut at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki.

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Published Jan 17, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 17, 2020 at 11:51 am)

Evans building towards dream

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