London 2012 gold medallist Helena Lucas started sailing at the age of eight, when her parents first took her out on the water for the very first time, and her passion for the sport continued to develop during her teens.
At the very start of her career, Helena was committed to racing in the 470 class in non-disabled competition, campaigning for selection to Team GB for both the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games. From 2004 onwards, she switched her focus to the 2.4mR class, a Paralympic event in a single-handed small keelboat.
Enjoying the technical demands of the boat and thriving on the tactical elements of competition, Helena went on to make her Paralympic debut in Beijing, where she finished in 7th place.
At London 2012, Helena became the first British athlete to win gold in Sailing at a Paralympic Games since the sport officially became part of the Paralympic programme in 2000. She was also the only woman competing in her class at the 2012 Games.
Helena then became Britain’s most successful Paralympic sailor ever with a bronze medal in Rio.
In her attempt to defend the one-person keelboat title she won at London 2012, Helena was leading heading into the 11th and final race of the regatta at the Marina de Gloria.
She went into the decisive double points medal race with a one point advantage over France’s Damien Seguin, with Australia’s Matt Bugg lying third ten points behind the Brit.
But a fifth in the final race for Athens 2004 champion and Beijing 2008 silver medallist, Seguin, combined with a race win for Bugg saw the Frenchman claim gold, the Australian silver and Lucas bronze.
Away from Paralympic competition, Helena experienced one of the highlights of her career in 2006 when she stood in for Shirley Robertson to helm in the Olympic Class Yngling at the first Beijing Olympic Test Event, winning silver alongside Annie Lush and Lucy MacGregor.
In addition to her achievements on the water, Helena graduated with a BEng Hons degree in Yacht and Power Craft Design from Southampton University in 1996. When she is not Sailing, Helena’s other favourite sporting activities include Skiing and Cycling.
In the 2013 New Year's Honours, Helena was awarded a MBE.
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