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Rockal Evans savours success Down Under in TP52 Gold Cup Series

Rockal Evans (second from left) shown competing aboard Matador in the TP52 Gold Cup Series in Newcastle Harbour, Australia. (Photo supplied).

Rockal Evans enjoyed success competing in the last stage of the TP52 Gold Cup Series in Newcastle Harbour, Australia.

The Bermudian was among the crew aboard David Doherty’s 52-foot yacht, Matador, that won the TPR title on handicap and finished third in the battle for IRC honours.

“Day one was a long 25-mile passage race that took around three hours to complete,” Evans told The Royal Gazette. “The race started in light wind conditions and then gradually build to about 15 knots.

“We had a not so good start, so for us the race was all about recovery. In the end we finished day one with a great result.”

He added: “Day two was scheduled for three races with the forecasted conditions to be changing all the time.

“The vibe on the boat was to just get good starts and get some good consistent results. And that’s what we accomplished.”

Evans was making his debut competing with Doherty’s team having done so earlier this month with regatta winners, Gweilo, who pipped Smuggle for IRC honours by a solitary point.

“For me this was a new team I was sailing with for the first time,” the multiple national champion added.

“The boat was a little bit different but the crew brought me up to speed very quickly in order for me to learn the new systems on board.

“All in all, it was a great event. The learning curve for me is still rapidly rising for offshore racing.”

The TP52 Gold Cup Series formed part of the SailFest Newcastle Regatta held from March 26 to 27 and hosted the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club.

The event did not go without drama and controversy for Evans and his colleagues, who were involved in a mild collision with leaders Ichi Ban as the fleet bunched up near the pin end of the line during the pre-start of the pivotal fourth and deciding race.

Three protests were lodged by Matador, Gweilo and Ichi Ban, which were ultimately decided in the protest room.

After a lengthy hearing, Ichi Ban was disqualified for a pre-start rule breach.

The ruling pushed the leaders to fourth, with Gweilo claiming IRC honours, Smuggler taking second and Matador third.

Under the class's unique TPR handicap, Evans and colleagues eclipsed nearest rivals Smuggler and KOA for the title.

Meanwhile, Evans made a solid start to the inaugural series earlier this month after finishing third aboard Donald’s TP52 Gweilo in the Sydney Harbour Regatta won by Matador.

Evans is using the TP52 Series to aid in his preparations for the upcoming Star Sailors League Gold Cup.

He 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.

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Published March 31, 2022 at 7:39 am (Updated March 31, 2022 at 7:39 am)

Rockal Evans savours success Down Under in TP52 Gold Cup Series

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