Dave Evans exciting start to 2008 just got even better as the talented Welshman becomes only the second sailor in the history of the Marlow Ropes Award to receive the coveted accolade for the second time.

The 49er helm, who first won the award with then crew Rick Peacock in November 2004, joins fellow Skandia Team GBR Development 49er Squad teammate Alain Sign as the only two-time recipients of the award which entitles the nominated sailor(s) to free Marlow rope for a year.
Marlow Ropes introduced the award more than five years ago with the aim to reward Great Britain s most up-and-coming rookies for their determination, focus and talent with 2007 49er World champions and Pre-Olympic Test event victors Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes the first winners in November 2002.

Among the other top names to have also picked up a Marlow Ropes Award en route to the summit of the world s most celebrated podiums include double World 470 champions Nic Asher and Elliott Willis (December 2002), two-time Yngling World champion crew Pippa Wilson (March 2005) and newly-crowned World under 21 Finn champion Giles Scott (October 2005).

Evans latest accolade comes in the wake of his performance at the 2008 49er World Championships in Australia where, sailing with Alex Hopson, the 22-year-old from Cardiff achieved his best ever career result in finishing 16th overall.

And he has now got his eyes firmly focused on the ultimate prize of an Olympic gold medal on the home waters of Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in 2012.

Evans said: Our aim for the Worlds was to come in the top 20 so to finish 16th was a really good result. The racing was very close and at the end of gold fleet there was only six points separating 11th to 16th.

My biggest overall sailing goal remains winning a gold medal at London 2012 and I am working towards that goal by taking an increasingly professional approach to my sailing and learning as much as possible from the top guys in Skandia Team GBR.

Evans, who started sailing Optimists aged eight at Llanishen Sailing Centre, is set to continue sailing with Hopson at least up to and including the 49er Europeans in Spain in late March.

He cites fellow Welshman and Sydney 2000 49er silver medallist coach Ian Barker as the most influential person in his sailing career and says outside of sailing he enjoys most other watersports including surfing, windsurfing and snorkelling. At a recent training camp in Palma, Evans also started road biking and rock climbing.

On being presented with his second Marlow Ropes Award by Marlow Marketing & Yachting Sales Manager and company director Paul Honess at the 2008 RYA Dinghy Sailing Show, Evans said: In the 49er ropes wear so quickly, and it is something you can t control. Having this award means that ropes never need break on the boat and we can be confident in our kit and being able to push it to the limit.

Skandia Team GBR Development Squad Manager Barrie Edgington said: Whilst Dave has always hinted at his potential it has been since finishing University last summer that he has began to fulfil this potential. His result at the Worlds should provide a great platform for his 2012 campaign. His Marlow Award in recognition of this will certainly ensure he has the ropes to support this goal.

As well as supporting up-and-coming sailors, Marlow Ropes are also the official supplier and exclusive team ropes partner to Skandia Team GBR thanks to its industry-renowned reputation for producing products tried, tested and trusted in the world s harshest environments.