by Matt Carter
In the 2013 GAES Christmas Race, the British Sailing Team’s Martin Evans was celebrating silver success on Sunday, as the Laser sailor claimed a podium spot on the final day of racing in Palamós (22 December).
The British Sailing Team’s Lorenzo Chiavarini and Martin Evans
Adding to the GBR success in the Laser class, fellow British Sailing Team Podium Potential squad sailor Lorenzo Chiavarini clinched the Under 19 title, finishing fourth overall.
Evans notched up an impressive score line across the nine race series in Palamós Bay, counting four of them inside the top five – and entered Sunday’s medal race decider in third position, 18 points adrift of Spain’s Jesus Rogel Sanchez in first and only one point behind Spain’s Joaquin Blanco, in second.
Racing in superb sunshine with a South-Westerly 15-20 knots, Evans picked up from where he left off on Saturday clinching the all-important race win in front of his Spanish rival Blanco to secure the silver medal position by the narrowest of margins.
'I’m pretty happy with the silver medal – I went into the regatta with the idea that I didn’t want to finish any worse than second so I’m pleased in that respect. The Spanish sailor who won the event has been around on the international circuit for a while, and I would usually like to think I would put up a good challenge against him but he was absolutely on fire so it ended up being a battle for second in the end,' said the 21-year-old from West Mersea, Colchester.
'Heading into Sunday’s medal race, second and fifth were all separated by only two points and I basically accepted that it was going to be hard to finish first, the only way I could of done it was for me to finish first and him to finish last which just wasn’t going to happen, so with the other guys it was just a case of going out and beating them and trying to win the race.
Evans continued: 'I just treated it as a normal race, I didn’t focus on any particular sailors and as it happened it was quite a windy race, not very shifty and it turned into just a pace race which is what us Brits are the best at. I was confident coming off the line, put my head down and hiked hard and that was it really.'
Evans felt his performance amid the light winds in Palamós and at the recent Laser World Championships in Oman are a true testament to all the hard work he has put in over the past 12 months.
'It was predominantly a light wind regatta which are normally my weaker conditions but over the last year or so I have been doing a lot of work on my light wind sailing. When it’s windy I am usually quite reliable and generally quite good and when its light I am quite inconsistent so I have been working hard to try and even it out a little - so it’s definitely nice to see with this result and my result at the Worlds that all my training and hard work is starting to pay off.'
The British Sailing Team’s Lorenzo Chiavarini fourth place finish in the medal race was enough to see him clinch the Under 19 title and fourth overall in front of fellow Brit Jack Wetherell who finished sixth.
In the 470 Women’s event, Amy Seabright-Anna Carpenter topped the leaderboard heading into the medal race however after a disappointing 10th place finish the GBR duo slipped to fifth overall missing out on the podium by three points. Anna Burnett-Flora Stewart rounded their regatta off in eighth.
49er sailors Nic Asher-Fynn Sterritt and John Pink-Stuart Bithell finished their Christmas Race in sixth and 10th respectively.
Meanwhile in the Youth Racing classes, GBR sailors Max Clapp-Joseph Burns clinched event honours in the 420 class while Mimi El-khazindar-Ben Batten took the bronze medal position in the 29er event.
British Sailing Team website