Sailing

Evans copes well in strong winds

  • Bermuda sailor Rockal Evans

Rockal Evans is holding his own among the strongest fleet to compete at the Ronstan International Finn Australian Championships in Melbourne.

The Bermudian coped well in the strong 20 to 23 knot breezes yesterday, placing fifteenth and sixteenth in the two races contested on the waters of Port Phillip Bay and is fourteenth among the 40-strong fleet, boasting Olympic gold medal-winner and America’s Cup sailor Giles Scott and European champion Ed Wright.

“We had two long races in windy conditions,” said Evans, who has a best showing to date of ninth.

“Upwinds were long at the top of the course where I was struggling a bit. Downwinds were fun and fast, passing boats each downwind.

“I’ve had great starts, some of my best, and feel very encouraged. My confidence is strong.”

Evans has made Australia his training base as he bids to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

“Training in Australia has been great and I’m seeing improvements all around the racecourse,” he said.

The 30-year old is bidding to follow in the footsteps of his late grandfather, Howard Lee, who represented Bermuda in the single-handed Finn dinghy at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

Meanwhile, Campbell Patton made a late surge on the final day of racing to cap an impressive showing at the Oceania and Australian Laser Championships that finished in Tasmania on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old placed fifth in his division and fifteenth among the 69-strong Laser Radial fleet with five top-ten finishes during the 12-race series.

Patton ended his campaign with finishes of eighth and a regatta-best fifth in the final two races contested on the waters of Devonport.