Evans moves closer to Olympic spot
Rockal Evans made huge gains in pursuit of Olympic qualification on day three of the Hempel Sailing World Cup in Miami, Florida, yesterday.
The Bermudian sailor thrived in the cold and blustery conditions in Biscayne Bay coming fifth and a third in the two races contested in the Finn class to surge three places in the standings from ninth to sixth.
More importantly, he ended the day ahead of Mexicans Juan Perez Soltero and Alejandro Perez Ontiveros, the only other sailors in the Finn class in contention for the sole spot on offer to the North American region for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.
Evans led the fleet across the line at the start of the first race but lost ground heading up the first beat after missing out on a big wind shift to the right side of the course. He rounded the top mark in fifth and after making further gains was in second on the final run to the finish line.
However, he lost more ground having to take extra gybes to steer clear of heavy traffic and ultimately had to be content with fifth.
The breeze continued to build at the start of the second race in which Evans crossed the line near the back of the fleet.
However, once again he was able to work his way up back to the front and go on to secure his best finish at the regatta to date of third.
Soltero sits in ninth, four points back of Evans, while Ontiveros, who did not compete yesterday, is a further 38 points adrift in twelfth.
Caleb Paine, of the United States, still leads the Finn class standings after six races.
Also flying Bermuda’s flag in Miami this week is Benn Smith who is competing in the Laser class for the sole Olympic spot on offer.
The 20-year-old lost ground yesterday as finishes of 21st and 27th in the trying conditions saw him slip from eleventh to thirteenth in the 40-boat Laser standings. Smith is among ten sailors in contention for the only Olympics at stake in the Laser fleet.
Francisco Guaragna Rigonat, of Argentina, leads the Laser standings after six races.
The top ten sailors in the Finn and Laser classes will progress to the medal race on Sunday.
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