Sailing

Evans climbs the rankings as he steps up Tokyo bid

  • Rockal Evans in the Finn dinghy
  • Photo by Mark Tatem Rockal Evans

Rockal Evans is on the move. The Bermudian sailor has jumped 14 places in the latest Finn class world rankings from 65th to 51st to keep his qualifying bid for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in on track.

“The jump in the rankings feels good and I didn’t think that I would be ranked just outside of the top 50 in the world [at this stage],” Evans said.

The former Comet class national champion now hopes to continue his upward thrust in the rankings when he competes at the Ronstan International Finn Australian Championship in Brisbane next week.

Evans is making his debut at the championship, being contested in Waterloo Bay from January 15 to 20 in the single-handed Olympic class Finn dinghy, and heads into the event with high expectations.

“I’m expecting to finish in the top five at this regatta,” he declared.

“My preparation and form has been great. I’ve spent lots of time in the gym trying to drop some weight and now I’m in the weight range that I need to be in for my height.”

Evans has some momentum having produced an eighth-place showing at last month’s Sail Sydney Regatta, his best display in the Finn dinghy last year.

“The eighth at the last event was a good confidence boost, but I still think I could have finished better if I had the right equipment to sail with,” he said. “For the next event I have more so the right equipment, so I’m looking to finish in the top five.”

Evans competes in the same class that his late grandfather Howard Lee competed in for Bermuda at the Montreal Olympics in 1976.

He is vying for one of only three available Olympic spots from the North and South American region.

He moved to Sydney last October to enhance his qualifying chances by gaining exposure competing and training regularly alongside America’s Cup calibre sailors such as Tom Slingsby and Jake Lillie.

Slinsgby represented defender Oracle Team USA and Lillie challenger Artemis Racing at the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda last year.