Golden return for Lucas in Weymouth and Portland

The London 2012 Paralympic champion won the 2.4mR class at the ISAF Sailing World Cup event. 15 Jun 2015
Sailor races in 2.4mR event.

British sailor Helena Lucas wins gold in the 2.4mR at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Weymouth and Portland, the same venue where she won Paralympic gold in London 2012.

By Bradley Neen | For the IPC

“I love coming back to Weymouth and Portland and it is definitely my second home."

Helena Lucas struck gold at the Weymouth and Portland venue in Great Britain - again. The British sailor won the 2.4mR event in the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup event on Saturday (13 June).

It was the same venue where Lucas won Paralympic gold in London 2012, and she continued to show her dominance throughout the week; Lucas finished five points ahead of second-place Italian finisher Antonio Squizato. Fellow British sailor John Brooker came in third.

“I love coming back to Weymouth and Portland and it is definitely my second home,” Lucas said. “The waters out there are so familiar and it does bring back really amazing memories of London 2012. It is my lucky venue.”

Squizato said: “Lucas is a very good sailor. She is very fast and does not do many mistakes and that difference in speed is important.”

The regatta proved to be a success for Team Great Britain, which won gold in the two-person SKUD-18 class to make it two out of three wins in the overall event. Five-time World Champions Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell beat their Italian training partners Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti on the final day. Will Street and Megan Pascoe – a new SKUD-18 partnership that formed after their recent transition from the 2.4mR class – claimed the bronze medal, adding to Great Britain’s medal collection.

The Australian trio of Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden won gold in the Sonar class before the final race of the week had even begun.

The team went on the wrap up their victory in style, with a comprehensive win in the final race, ensuring they finished six points ahead of Great Britain’s John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas.

“It is very satisfying,” Harrison said. “It has been a very tough event with strong winds and the light day, but we have enjoyed racing again in Weymouth.… … Since 2012, it has been a bit of a drought for us here, so it was nice to come up with a good result.”

Ireland's John Twomey, Austin O'Carroll and Ian Costelloe took the bronze after Norwegian crew Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen were disqualified from the final race.

The World Cup was halted on the third day of racing after unpredictable winds made conditions unstable. However, the Paralympic racers completed their scheduled events the following day.

The World Cup event was the last major competition before the World Championships take place in November in Melbourne, Australia.

For complete results of the World Cup in Weymouth and Portland, please visit the ISAF’s website.