Helena Lucas is Biscayne Bay’s winner of the day. Helena won her first regatta of the year, the 2.4 Meter Midwinter Regatta hosted by Shake-a-Leg Miami. The Team Skandia GBR sprite dominated the 22-boat international fleet by sailing away from the pack and collecting only eight points in five races on Friday and besting everyone at deciphering a light and fickle breeze during Saturday’s five races.
“We had a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a big shift, a 360-degree shift, you name it we, had it,” said the dripping wet victor after her Team Skandia GBR teammates hoisted her out of the water. Helena’s performance was impressive considering it was a warm up regatta for the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta. In many instances, sailing federations are using the results of both regattas as part of the final selection process for their Paralympic teams. “I’m quite pleased with the results. I hope that the rest of the year goes as well as it has started,” beamed Helena.
Regardless of whether it is an open or a disabled regatta, Helena is always a formidable competitor. She learned how to sail in Toppers and campaigned a 470 for six years before she jumped into the single-handed 2.4 Meter in 2005. 2006 was a big year for her because she won a silver medal at the 2.4 Meter World Championships and a silver medal at the Olympic Test Event in Qingdao in the Yngling where she substituted as the helmsperson for double Olympic Gold Medalist, Shirley Robertson, who had just given birth.
Keep an eye on Helena. If she matches this performance during next week’s Rolex Miami OCR, she will surely be on her way to Qingdao for the Paralympic Test Event and the Paralympics in September. A featherweight, Helena is built for Qingdao.