It’s always nice to be standing on the top step of the podium, and even more so after a tough tight regatta.

I went out early to Palma at the beginning of March to train with the Norwegian 2.4mR sailor Bjornar Erikstad. Will Street from GB also joined in and we had a productive two weeks of some great training. I came home for 5 days before heading back out with my Husband Steve for the regatta. Ian Barker my coach was coaching the Irish 49er team at this event, so Steve had kindly stepped in, to offer on the water support and help with any sail changes I needed to make. It was great having him there, especially in the evening’s when we could discuss the day over a glass of wine and dinner.

The regatta was run over 4 days, 8 races with one discard. There were only really 3 of us in the running for the podium spots, myself, Megan Pascoe GB and Bjornar. Will Street had a great regatta topped off with a race win, which he was delighted with.

Bjornar had a great start to the regatta posting two firsts on the score board, I had a solid start with 2nd and 3rd. The second day I had a frustrating first race, after taking the lead, I then had an issue getting the jib pole away at the bottom mark. I dropped to 3rd, but caught up for the same thing to happen again! As always it was fine after the race! It was Meg’s turn to post two firsts on the score board that day, but the points between the three of us were very tight.

The third day was my day and with the other two finishing out of the top 3 in a couple of races, I was tied for first place with Meg, with Bjornar only a point behind going in to the final day and the last two races. After a good tussle I came out on top to win the regatta. I was really pleased with how I sailed, never a result out of the top 3 and the consistency paid off.

It’s just a week at home before heading off to Hyeres for the second World cup of the season.

Helena Lucas Road to Rio campaign invites support from the British public

Helena Lucas Road to Rio campaign invites support from the British public

word cloud

Southampton-based Paralympic Gold Medal winning British sailor, Helena Lucas MBE, is inviting individuals and businesses to support her campaign to repeat her success in the Paralympics in Rio 2016.


In an innovative fundraising move, Lucas is offering individuals and organisations the chance to put their names on her 2.4mR keelboat in the run up to Paralympics. Spaces start from as little as £10 up to £1500 and each supporter will have their name or initials incorporated into a ‘Word Cloud’ style logo which Helena will carry on her boat throughout her campaign – the more you donate, the bigger your name.


Helena Lucas MBE is Britain’s only Gold medal winning Paralympic sailor and Team GB’s only sailing Gold medalist to return to Rio 2016. Helena was the only woman competing in her class and was Britain’s first sailor to win a Gold medal in the Paralympics in the 2.4mR in London 2012. She has her sights set on bringing home a second medal for Britain in 2016.


Helena explained, “As a member of the British Sailing Team I am fortunate to receive funding through UK Sport and the National Lottery. But to give her the edge and be in with a real chance of claiming another Gold, the athlete needs to raise extra funds through sponsorship. Headline sponsors are hard to come by so to raise the funds for extra coaching, equipment and innovation, I am inviting individuals and businesses to support me.”


Helena hopes to raise up to £15,000 from the crowd funding campaign, which will allow her to pay for additional coaching, equipment development and travel to compete on the competition waters in Rio. She says, “Its so important to be familiar with the waters in the competition venue and to have the opportunity to have the best equipment and coaching. I really believe this additional funding will give me a fighting chance of bringing home a second Gold medal, and I’d like everybody to follow me on the journey.”

But it’s not all about the money. In 2012, all the athletes talked about how great it was to have so much support from the UK public and what a difference it made to their performance knowing the country was rooting for them.

Lucas said, “In 2012 we had such huge support from the British people and knowing they were behind us really helped the whole team perform so well – it will be a huge privilege to carry the names of individuals and companies in the run up to the 2016 Games in Rio and once again will give me an enormous boost. That’s why we have made sure that these spaces are affordable starting at just £10 – I really want to be able to make the country proud and have as many people involved with my campaign as possible!”

As more supporters sign up, the Word Cloud will grow and based on the spaces available could carry up to 250 names in various shapes and sizes. The logo will be updated every 4 to 6 weeks or thereabouts as people sign up and will be applied to the hull of her boat.

To support Helena click on the tab SUPPORT HELENA at the top of her website page



Toronto was quite a contrast to seemingly tranquil Halifax. A big city, with all the hustle and bustle. The yacht club was based in down town Toronto so the action was never far away. I had a couple of days to set the boat up and squeeze in a bit of sightseeing before Ian (my coach) joined me from Istanbul, where he had been coaching Ben Ainslie and his team in the Extreme 40.
The training conditions were really light, but we managed to get the best out of the days and tick the boxes we wanted. However on Sunday with flat calm conditions we decided to accept there was not going to be any sailing and took advantage to do some sight seeing and go up the CN Tower and treat ourselves to a very nice lunch in the revolving restaurant.

After an intial postponement on the first day, due to lack of winds, we had around 8-10 knots most days with a little more towards the end of the week.
I had what could be described as a bit of a slow start to the regatta, with decidedly average results, but pulled my socks up in the second half to move into a comftable second overall going into the last day, with Stellan Berlin leading and Bjørnar Erkstad in 3rd.
We don’t normally have two discards in a regatta, but two were planned for this Championship with the second one counting after 10 races. With 3 races planned on the last day and the second discard coming in after the second race of the day, it was going to make keeping track of the points and scores really quite tricky. After my mathematical blunder last year costing me the Championship title, I decided to leave the maths and scores to Ian. My results had been really consistent with nothing worse than an 8th, however Stellan and Bjørnar had much bigger discards which was going to make the maths a little tricky.

After the first race of the day, with Stellan getting himself OCS I had moved into first.
However with the second discard about to come in after the next race things could all change. Stellan lead at the final top mark with me just behind in a comftable second. Bjørnar was third but with a pack snapping at his heels. Everything was fine, until we got near the bottom of the run, I had gybed over to keep a cover on Bjørnar who had gybed at the top to separate from the pack going high. Some how I got sucked into the dirty air of the pack behind while Bjørnar found a bit of extra pressure and rapidly closed the gap.
It was a photo finish with Bjørnar pipping me on the line. At this point I was confused at to whether I was second overall or third knowing that Bjørnar had a worse discard. Ian was no help as he had got himself really confused with the discards and thought I was 4th.The race committee decided no more racing for the day as a front was approaching, so I had a long sail in trying to crunch numbers in my head. I was certain I was either 3rd or 2nd. Ian was full of smiles on the dock confirming I was third, I was gutted realising I had lost second on the line! Took a couple of beers before I cheered up and as he pointed out if I had sailed as well as I had at the end of week, at the beginning I could have won. Also without the second discard it would have been a different story.
Anyway Stellan sailed a brilliant regatta to take his 8th World title and if I was going to be beaten by anyone for Silver, I couldn’t think of a nicer person and greater sailor than Bjørnar.

So with the summer over and the major regattas raced, it’s back to training now with a trip to Rio in just under two weeks time! The plan after that is to brave the British winter in December and train in Weymouth with some sunshine planned in January in Miami.





To walk away with a silver medal from the IFDS Worlds in Halifax, Canada was a nice end to a tough week.

It was a difficult Championships; we never really got the conditions that had been predicted, and I had to handle a lot of disappointment. But I’m pleased I was so competitive in the medals even if I missed out on gold by just one point.

I hadn’t raced the 2.4mR for two months, since Kiel in June. I seem to sail better when I’ve had a bit of a break between regattas, and having a pre-Worlds event in Halifax before the main event was a useful way to get back my sharpness and iron out any mistakes.

We actually had 3½ weeks in Canada, quite a long time to be away in one go. There were a few days of training but the best training I could hope for was the pre-Worlds. With 10 races crammed into three days it was pretty intense! By the time the Worlds started I was hitting the ground running.

The biggest thing for me from the Worlds was my consistency. Frustratingly that would have won me the gold medal if we had not had three races abandoned.

In each I was either leading or in the leading pack with all three of my main competitors right down the field. All of them were already carrying big scores from starting penalties, and another finish in the 20s or 30s would have been their regatta over. But each race was canned! By the third time it happened it was pretty hard to take.

I began thinking I must have done something to have upset the race officers! The others were racing on a knife-edge but I didn’t carry anything higher than an eighth in the whole series. That’s the sort of consistency you need to win events, it was just frustrating this one got away from me in the way it did, but that’s our sport.

Going into the last race knowing I couldn’t do worse than bronze was a nice place to be. In that position you have nothing to lose, everything to gain and we had probably the best race of the whole regatta.

Heiko (Kruger) and Damien (Seguin) were leading tied on points with me in third going into the final day. The racing in the last race was so close between all three of us, really battling it out. I found some downwind pace I’d been lacking all event, usually unheard of for me, and I managed to get boats between us. But I couldn’t quite get the two boats ahead of Heiko I needed to get the gold and he clinched it.

I’d never been to Canada before so it was all quite exciting seeing and sailing in a new place. It only rained once or twice the whole time we were there and it’s a really beautiful place, with striking coastline and some stunning lakes. Where we stayed reminded me a bit of Mylor or Falmouth in Cornwall. It was pretty hilly and cycling too and from the club each day was quite a challenge, like interval training!
In a couple of weeks I’m in Canada again for the 2.4mR Open World Championships, this time in Toronto.

I do feel like I’ve got a bit of a score to settle at the Open Worlds, after the disappointment of losing gold in the final race at last year’s event. It would be fantastic to win it, and add a new title to the collection, so we will see what happens. Hopefully last year wasn’t a missed opportunity and I get that opportunity again.

In the meantime I have a bit of time to catch up on all the bits and bobs that don’t get done when you’re away from home for a long period and get the right rest too.

This week it’s exactly two years since I won gold at London 2012 and with Rio now edging closer we are looking at getting out there for good training block in November. The RYA has invested in a number of 2.4mR boats, and four are getting shipped to Rio so we can use them. With the Olympic classes guys having recently had the Test Event there is a lot of information we can tap into already.

I have been to Rio once before last December but I’m looking forward to getting to grips with the venue more and more over the next two years.

It’s been a good summer so far. With our main events in the late summer/early autumn I’ve been able to combine training and ‘real life’ really well.

My husband Steve and I enjoyed some time cruising in our Westerly GK29 around the Solent, something we hadn’t done for about six years, visiting places we had never been before and exploring the Isle of Wight. It was so relaxing and just what was needed before heading out to the IFDS Worlds.

I also enjoyed a few days at Cowes Week with my Para-equestrian friend Lee Pearson, who is now loving sailing after trying it for the first time last year.

We went out to watch the action on the water onboard the motor yacht, Rum Jungle, with Volvo Cark UK guests and I provided some race commentary. I then acted as guest skipper on a Farr 65 racing yacht with UKSA and Volvo. Volvo Ocean Race teams, Dongfeng and Abu Dhabi also provided guests with the opportunity to sail on their VO65s, which looked very, very cool. They are awesome boats!

While in Cowes I also did a sponsored 100ft mast climb for UKSA, who I’m an official Ambassador of. I’m usually ok with heights, but there was one bit right near the top where I switched my handhold and as I let go I swung out a bit. At that moment I had a bit of a panicky feeling going on and suddenly thought, “Oh God, I’m really high!”

I think I’m definitely safer on the water!