PARALYMPICS: Portland's Lucas Propelled into Gold Medal Position
8:41am 4th September 2012
Leader Lucas Staying Calm
Two awesome race wins propelled Helena Lucas into gold medal position in the 2.4 Metre one-person keelboat class at the halfway point of the London 2012 Paralympic Regatta at Weymouth and Portland today (Monday 3 September).
Redhill-born Lucas holds a nine-point advantage over nearest rival Heiko Kroger (GER) as her back-to-back race victories, coupled with the fact that the sailors have now completed five races and can eliminate their worst score of the series, saw her manoeuvre into pole position at the head of the fleet with five races to come.
Triple World Championship medallist Lucas, who has lived in Portland in preparation for this event, made the most of the light breezes in the harbour today.
But she insists she had a valuable lesson in taking nothing for granted reinforced at this summer's Olympics when the Star team of Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson saw a gold medal - and a seven-point lead - disappear in a crushing final race flash.
Lucas said: "I couldn't have asked for more than that today, I'm just really, really pleased. Getting the bullet in the first race was pretty cool and the second race it was a case of keeping it chilled and getting a good start.
"But I'm absolutely not thinking about where that has left me. I've managed to get a nine point lead having done six races so with five races to go it would be quite easy to lose that nine point lead. I'm certainly not getting carried away.
"You look at what happened to Perce and Bart at the Olympics, when they led the whole regatta. Anything can happen. You can easily have a bad day or something goes wrong. It is great to have a bit of a cushion at the moment but I'm fully aware that that can get eroded very quickly."
The London 2012 Paralympic Sailing Regatta runs from Saturday 1st September to Thursday 6th September.
Two races per day are scheduled for each class from 1st to 5th September, with one race for each class on the final day (6th September). Racing is scheduled to start at 11am daily.