Rockal Evans sails to historic win Down Under
Rockal Evans made history after becoming the first sailor to win the Eden Cup in the Finn Class, competing in New South Wales, Australia, yesterday.
The Bermudian dominated the inaugural regatta, hosted by Twofold Bay Yacht Club, as he won three races of the four-race series and finished no lower than third on the way to the title.
“Happy to come away with the win,” an elated Evans told The Royal Gazette. “This was a new event on the calendar for the Finn fleet, so also happy that my name will be the first on the trophy.”
The multiple Bermuda national champion put himself in early contention after posting a 1-1-3 record during the opening three races in Twofold Bay on Saturday to earn a share of the lead of the 14-boat fleet along with Australian Anthony Nossiter.
“l ended the day tied for first with a 1-1-3 scorecard,” Evans added. “The last day was only scheduled for one race, so I knew I just had to beat the guy [Nossiter] I was tied with and not finish outside of the top four to take the win.”
It was a task the grandson of late Comet stalwart and Olympic sailor Howard Lee ultimately proved more than equal to.
“I managed to win the last race and the regatta,” he said. “Conditions were eight to 13 knots of sea breeze, that was pretty stable and not too shifty.”
Evans coped best connecting the dots around the racetrack and capitalised on his strengths, which ultimately gave him the edge over his rivals.
“I capitalised with my straight-line speed upwind and ability to pump and surf the waves downwind longer, keeping my average speed high,” he added.
Evans has enjoyed the best of times competing in the single-handed Finn dinghy Down Under lately, having achieved five wins in the 2022 Woollahra Sailing Club Summer Series.
He also clinched the bronze medal competing against Olympic and America’s Cup-calibre sailors in the International Finn New South Wales State Championship in Sydney Harbour last month.
His success has not been limited to the Finn class having also been among the crew aboard Matt Donald and Chris Townsend’s 52-foot yacht, Gweilo, that has claimed two victories in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 2021-22 Ocean Pointscore Series this year.
Evans is using the offshore racing series as preparation for the inaugural biennial Star Sailors League Gold Cup to be held in Switzerland between May and June.
He is the captain of Bermuda’s team that will compete against Canada, Guatemala and Mexico in the North American qualifying series, with the eventual top teams advancing to the next round.