Rockal Evans and team-mates make solid start to inaugural TP52 series Down Under
Rockal Evans and his colleagues aboard the 52-foot yacht, Gweilo, made a solid start to the inaugural TP52 Series in Sydney, Australia, at the weekend.
Led by skipper Matthew Donald, the team battled through a range of conditions on the way to finishing third in the Super 50 class competing in the Sydney Harbour Regatta.
Racing was delayed on the opening day of the regatta due to the light 3-knot breeze on Saturday.
When the breeze eventually filled in, Evans and his colleagues posted a 1-4-3 record on the windward/leeward course from Harbour Bridge to Manly on Sydney Harbour, which left them third in the standings behind leader Matador and second placed Zen.
“The first day we were sailing offshore and completed three windward to leeward two-lap races,” Evans told The Royal Gazette. “The conditions were light wind with a big sea state of three-metre waves.
“We finished the day in third place with room to improve on the second and final day.”
Teams were greeted by gusty winds, heavy downpours interspersed with brief sunshine and limited visibility on the final day of the regatta, which resulted with the race committee altering the racecourse.
Evans and his colleagues posted a 4-3 record in the two races contested to pip rival Quest for the third and final spot on the podium by a mere two points.
“Day two was windy 20-25 knots so the race committee decided to race us inside the harbour,” Evans added. “We completed two long races.
“In the end we didn’t improve overall but the entire crew was happy with the end result.”
Evans demonstrated his versatility performing in various roles on the boat during the five-race series.
“My position on the boat for the first day was controlling the front grinding pedestal,” he explained. “This controls the jib in the tacks and hoisting the spinnaker at the top mark, and trimming/gybing the spinnaker on the downwind legs.
“The second day I moved to the aft grinding pedestal. My job was trimming the mainsail and dropping the spinnaker at the bottom marks and helping to gybe the spinnaker.”
Overnight leader Matador (David Doherty) won the regatta, with Zen (Gordon Ketelbey) placing second, four points adrift.
Evans is using the TP52 Series to aid in his preparations for the upcoming Star Sailors League Gold Cup.
The multiple Bermuda national champion is the captain of the island’s team that will compete against Antigua & Barbuda, Puerto Rico and Tahiti in Group 1, with the eventual top teams in the group advancing to the next qualifying round.
The inaugural biennial event will be held in Switzerland between May and June and will see teams compete in the identical one-design SSL 47 monohull on windward-leeward Olympic courses during fleet races lasting between 45 to 75 minutes.