Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Helena Lucas retuns to the 2.4mR in style

by Helena Lucas on 8 May 2013
Helena Lucas, 2.4mR - 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres © Jean-Marie Liot /DPPI/FFV
British Paralymic medallist Helena Lucas is just off her silver medal victory in Hyeres and is preparing for the next event, the Delta Lloyd Regatta. Lucas brings us up to date on her accomplishments and the road ahead.

I was really pleased to win a silver medal at Hyeres - the fourth event in the ISAF World Cup Series and my first 2.4mR event since the Paralympics.

I hadn’t stepped into a 2.4mR at all since the Games so I went to Hyeres with no expectations as to how it was going to go - my goal was just to enjoy it, get racing again, see where I was at and what I need to work on.

Everything actually came back quite quickly, which was reassuring. I did three days of training with my coach, Ian Barker, before the event started and on the last day we chatted through a few things about the racing, which just meant everything was fresh in my mind.

Being out of the boat for a while actually makes it easier to step back, look at the big picture and really think about what your priorities are in each race. I knew I had to keep it simple, and I set myself three priorities in each race to focus on and do well.



I knew my starting was going to be a bit rusty, but I was never worried about that as I know how to work on that. But even from the practice race on Sunday I felt I was actually racing really well and I was making sensible decisions. I was also really relaxed while I was racing, which I think helped me recognise and seize opportunities as they arose in a race.

Although I went into the event relaxed and looking to enjoy it I pretty quickly learned my competitors were taking it very seriously! This wasn’t just my first event since the Paralympics but also Heiko Kroger (GER) and Damien Seguin’s (FRA) too. I think being Paralympic champion did make me more of a target and there was certainly some pretty intense racing out there. I even ended up in the protest room one night, which was definitely not on the agenda beforehand! But all good experience for the future.

It was also really nice to see so many people I hadn’t seen since the Games, and to be part of the whole British Sailing Team again, which I haven’t been since Sail for Gold Regatta last June. The Games seem such an unbelievably long time ago now that to still have people congratulating me was really lovely, but sometimes I’d forget and be thinking ‘For what??’

The British team were scattered around staying in different accommodation in Hyeres. However the team chef was out there, so every evening the team would eat together, catch up and chat about everyone’s days.

I was back in Hyeres this weekend for an SB20 Grand Prix event I did with Team Volvo's Lucy Macgregor and Ali Young and Richard Mason. The first race we did was the first time we had ever sailed together and the first time I’d helmed an SB20. I needed some advice on rigging the boat!

But it was great, we finished fifth overall and first female helm. There are some fantastic sailors in the class, and for most this is their hobby not their job, so there’s a slightly different attitude and approach to it. It’s less intense and really sociable. The four of us in our boat all have different experiences so it was interesting to get other people’s take on things and learn from each other. I love Hyeres too, so it was good.

There was a nice surprise when I got back from Hyeres last weekend. Just when you think all the post Games furore is starting to quieten down, tickets for the Royal Box at Wimbledon arrived! I’ve never been to Wimbledon before but always wanted to go. It was my birthday on Monday and this was such an awesome birthday present! I’m due to go on the middle Saturday so who knows who will be the same day as me? I’m really excited about it!

But before that I have my next 2.4mR event at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Holland later this month, so another couple of weeks and I’ll be off again. But, it is great to be back!
Southern Spars - 100Naiad/Oracle Supplierupffront 660x82

Related Articles

Smooth sailing for Max Salminen in quest to repeat Olympic success
Four years ago Max Salminen was on his way to gold medal in Weymouth Bay, sat in front of Freddy Lööf in Star class boat Four years ago Max Salminen (SWE) was on his way to a gold medal in Weymouth Bay, sat in front of Freddy Lööf (SWE) in their Star class boat. He is now trying again for Olympic glory in Rio, but this time will be in a boat by himself, sailing the Finn.
Posted on 23 Jul
Olympics 2016 - Brits fire first shots in the battle for the Likes
The British Sailing team have enlisted the services of Cricketing great Phil Tufnell to get Olympic Sailing fans support The British Sailing team have enlisted the services of Cricketing great Phil Tufnell to get fans support in this zany video, featuring all 15 team members. Even if you're not a Brit you can't help but like a top team that doesn't take themselves that seriously and can have a bit of fun
Posted on 22 Jul
ThrowbackThursday - London 2012, sudden death sailing
London 2012 was the first time the Olympic Games had returned to British shores since 1948. London 2012 was the first time the Olympic Games had returned to British shores since 1948. Even the famously grey weather seemed to be on board as the greatest show on earth touched down in gloriously British style.
Posted on 22 Jul
Panerai British Classic Week - Whooper in action on Day 5
The fifth day of Panerai British Classic Week produced some interesting weather, some challenging racing The fifth day of Panerai British Classic Week produced some interesting weather, some challenging racing and confirmed of the overall winner in several classes.
Posted on 22 Jul
Transat Québec Saint-Malo – All bets are off for these final 24 hours
Class40 fleet entered the English Channel this morning, and the leading group is so tightly packed that all bets are off The Class40 fleet entered the English Channel this morning, and the leading group is so tightly packed that all bets are off as to the sporting outcome of this ninth edition presented in collaboration with the City of Lévis.
Posted on 21 Jul
2016 Paralympics - Twice America's Cup champion moves to Paralympics
Richard Dodson was forced to stop competitive sailing due to MS now he'll be at the helm of a Sonar in Rio Richard Dodson, two-time America’s Cup Winner and former owner of North Sails in New Zealand, was forced to stop competitive sailing due to MS. Here he tells us of his journey into paralympic sailing, and the motivation to claim New Zealand’s first-ever Paralympic gold.
Posted on 21 Jul
My Road to Rio – Like climbing Mount Everest
The Olympic Games is the pinnacle of sailing, also reaching an unrivalled number of sports fans. When an Olympic sailing heavyweight says ‘I think going to the Olympics is rather like climbing an Everest’, you get a feel for the commitment and determination required to reach the top.
Posted on 20 Jul
Rio 2016 – Olympic dreams run in the family for Deniss Karpak
For Karpak, Olympic ambitions are more than a singlehanded drive for the gold. For him it is very much a family affair. For Deniss Karpak (EST), his Olympic Finn ambitions are more than a singlehanded drive for the gold. For him it is very much a family affair. While his mother, Marina, is the team manager, his father Igor is the head coach. They travel with him everywhere, working together as a very tight unit, but also making sure it is fun along the way.
Posted on 20 Jul
My Best Olympic Race – Bekatorou to fight in honour of her sister
A career of 20 years has resulted in four World Championships two Olympic medals and two World Sailor of the Year awards This success is not without sacrifice. Weeks and months away from home, serious injuries and extreme physical and mental tests are common in sailing but her hardest Olympic race yet will be at Rio 2016.
Posted on 18 Jul
Pieter-Jan Postma ready for a big Finn fight in Rio 2016
He wants a medal, but he knows that it will be a big fight on the water to achieve that dream. Since 2012 he has had, as usual, some ups and downs, but over the last 12 months he has most definitely been on the up.
Posted on 18 Jul