Helena Lucas (GBR), competing today (01.09.2012), in the Single-Person Keelboat (2.4mR) event in The London 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition.
Great Britain's Helena Lucas is the only female sailor in the 16-boat 2.4mR and it was a case of girl power on the opening day of sailing as she stormed to an early overall lead.
The Briton finished behind Athens 2004 gold medallist Damien Seguin (FRA) in Race 1 before going to claim her first bullet of the competition in Race 2.
With experience and Paralympic medals in abundance spread across the fleet Lucas could be seen as an outsider for gold after a seventh at Beijing 2008. But she is using that memory and her home water knowledge to spur her on, 'The disappointment of Beijing is a massive incentive. It feels great to be at the top, but it's going to be tough. Every point will count.'
Rounding the final mark in Race 2 in fourth place and 21 seconds behind the leaders it looked like the race win would go to Seguin again. However Lucas pulled herself back into contention using her downwind speed to pull level with Seguin, Thierry Schmitter (NED) and Heiko Kroger (GER) as a tense race for the finish ensued.
Lucas squeezed in front of the Dutchman by one second followed by Kroker and Seguin to give the Brit an early lead. Seguin was later disqualified from Race 2 after he failed to keep clear of Paul Tingley (CAN).
Schmitter and Kroger are tied on seven points in second and the German was happy with his start, 'I'm pleased with my two third places on this the first day; it's a solid start and I'm confident.'
The fleet resume racing tomorrow at 11:10 on the Portland Harbour Course.
20120109 Copyright onEdition 2012© Free for editorial use image, please credit: onEdition Fleet, competing today (01.09.2012), in the Single-Person Keelboat (2.4mR) event in The London 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition. Taking place from 1 September to 6 September, three gold medals will be up for grabs by the 80 competitors: in the Single-Person Keelboat, Two-Person Keelboat and Three-Person Keelboat. Athletes will compete to master the ever-changing conditions on the open waters of Weymout
Top Five Overall:
1. Helena Lucas (GBR) - 3pts
2. Thierry Schmitter (NED) - 7pts
3. Heiko Kroger (GER) - 7pts
4. Mark LeBlanc (USA) - 11pts
5. Matthew Bugg (AUS) - 12pts
For full results, all classes and mark roundings http://www.sailing.org/paralympics/london2012/results.php!click_here