Kate MacGregor’s View Training in Rio

Kate MacGregor’s View Training in Rio

From standing to sitting

After the worlds in Argentina, I had a tough decision of where to go next with my sailing. Unfortunately, the battle with crew injuries continued.

I had a fantastic time in Argentina with Steph, who did an amazing job considering I threw her in at the deep end but our results were improving as the week went on and we ended on a high. Short term Steph and I had only planned to do the worlds in Argentina as she was still in a partnership as well as being at university. We both felt that there wasn’t enough time between the end of November and Miami OCR leading into the next World Championships in Clearwater.

So, 2016 started off with some sailing in Rio, but this time in a 2.4m. I was there to train against Gold medallist, Helena Lucas and her coach Ian Barker. So to start with, I had never been in a 2.4m, so my focus was learning how to control the boat as well as trying to get really good and not swallowing the gross Rio water. I was hoping for a nice 10 knots to ease myself into it, (probably the easiest wind strength in most boats) but no, I was greeted to 15-18knots and relatively big waves, especially in a little boat! After a few hours of not being able to see from the salt water and constantly using mouthwash to avoid any illness, I had made it through day 1.

The difference between the FX and the 2.4, well, where do I start….. firstly, I am sat down the whole time, which is great don’t get me wrong until you cant actually see over the side because you are vertically challenged… Next, I am all by myself! who am I meant to gossip with on the way out and back in from the race course? The steering can be very confusing, well it was for me anyway, do I use the tiller or peddles? so many options. You don’t get your feet wet to launch but it doesn’t matter because you get soaked sailing anyway.

Despite it being the wettest boat I have EVER sailed I had a great week with Billy and Helena and learnt loads about the boat and the venue, as well as it being a pretty cool city!

I have got a few weeks of fitness and a lot of admin, before going onto the next challenge!

Kate x

Brittany Ferries
Viper 10

Miami World Cup

Miami World Cup

Its been a good start to 2016 winning Miami World Cup. It was a smaller fleet than usual closed off to Paralympic sailors only, which was a shame as we often see over 20 boats competing. However the racing was great in a variety of conditions! However it was not the weather we have become accustomed to from the Sunshine state, felt more like being back at home! Torrential rain, 20 knots, it kept things entertaining. Anyway great to win 7 out of 10 races, could have been 8 if I hadn’t lost my forestay in the first race!
Its now back to a cold February in Weymouth before heading off to Palma in March. However its nice to be home at least I get to spend some time with my husband and catch up with the rest of the family, before things get really ramped up!


So far 2015 has been a good year! Winning Princess Sophia regatta in April and sealing selection for Rio 2016 was an amazing feeling, especially as I was the first British Athlete to be selected for either the Paralympics or Olympics. The press release on the Cutty Sark after Hyeres World Cup was brilliant made even more special as it was my Birthday.
Since selection our focus has been on development with the aim of having all projects completed by November and it looks like we are on track!
The other focus has been time in Rio and getting familiar with the venue. We had a good training camp in September and are planning another in January.
So now my focus is firmly on the 2015 Para World Sailing Championships in Melbourne, starting on the 28th November. A great opportunity to test some of the new kit, but not all! We have to keep some of our powder dry!
Then its 2016, Olympic and Paralympic year and a busy programme. Staring off in January with another trip to Rio followed by the Miami World Cup, (good excuse to escape the weather back here). Then a full programme from March onwards with training in Palma followed by Princess Sophia, Hyeres World Cup, Garda, The World Championships in Medemblik, Weymouth World Cup, Kiel week and another trip to Rio in July! August will be spent watching the Olympics and supporting team GB and training in the Solent before heading out to Rio on the 28th August for the real thing! The Paralympic Games!

2.4mR World Championships 2015

It’s been a busy period with lots of different projects going on so it was great to go out to Finland for the 2.4mR Worlds and go racing! Unfortunately Ian my coach could not be with me as he was in Rio coaching at the test event, but it did mean that Steve my husband could come and support me both on and off the water

It was an amazing fleet of 104 boats, biggest fleet I think I have ever raced in, certainly with everyone all on the same start line!

I love the the 2.4mR Worlds as it’s when everyone comes together to race each other, able bodied, disabled, young and the more mature, female and male. It’s when the 2.4mR shows what a brilliant class of boat it is that we can all compete on an even playing field. This year saw an amazing fleet of 104 boats, biggest fleet I think I have ever raced in, certainly with everyone all on the same start line!

It was really tricky racing with some long days on the water. The race committee had a choice of two race courses, the better and bigger one being at least an hour sail or more from the club, so they opted for the smaller closer one, which made for some compact starts and first beats.

My results were rather mixed posting four 2nds and a 5th, but then having some rather poor results in the early twenties when I got caught up on the start line with other boats and struggled to pull through the fleet on such a small course. With such a big fleet and tight racing the start was everything as there were no clear lanes if you got it wrong.

Going into the last race I still had a chance to get onto the podium, only 4 points off Heiko in 3rd, but it was a whacky first beat with the wind dying and not helped by Heiko having a great last race and finishing 2nd.

So I ended up 5th overall, certainly not a bad result, but I always like to be be on the podium.
Stellan Berlin once again demonstrated his dominance in the class convincingly winning another World Championships, I have lost count how many he has now won!

The great thing was there were 6 Paralympic sailors in the top 10! With Bjørnar from Norway having an amazing consistent regatta to finish 2nd and Heiko from Germany 3rd. The next Paralympic sailor being myself in 5th.

So I have had a week at home sorting out dead pigeons and maggots in the loft and generally getting back on top of things and before heading out to Rio in September for training. Before I go though, I am taking part in part of the Deloitte ride with Selwyn Cooper from Volvo. It’s a ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats, we are doing the stage from Okehampton to Bath, just a mere 110 miles with 6,532 ft of climbing. Should keep me quite on the flight to Rio!

Best Wishes


Sent from my iPad

Lucas at the helm as first British athlete to be selected for Rio 2016

Lucas at the helm as first British athlete to be selected for Rio 2016

2012 gold medallist’s birthday marked by selection as first British athlete on the Rio 2016 team sheet

The British Paralympic Association (BPA) today announced that London 2012 gold medallist Helena Lucas is the first athlete selected to represent ParalympicsGB at Rio 2016 – a selection which sees her become the first official member of either ParalympicsGB or Team GB for Rio.

Lucas, who turns 40 today, is used to making history, as the first GB sailor to win a Paralympic medal since the sport became a full part of the Paralympic programme in 2000 when she won gold in the 2.4mR class on home water at London 2012.

She did so as the only female sailor amid an otherwise all-male 2.4mR fleet, and in just under 500 days’ time, Lucas will sail for ParalympicsGB once again, in Rio.

The announcement that she will make her third Games appearance was made today at the recently renovated Cutty Sark, a national icon of British Maritime history.

It is the culmination of a selection campaign in which Lucas produced consistent performances to prove her form, fending off tough competition for the place in the 2.4mR class from compatriot Megan Pascoe.

She is the only GB athlete in her class to have secured podium places in the Royal Yachting Association’s four qualification events, including silver at the 2014 IFDS World Championships and bronze in the 2.4mR Open World Championships.

Lucas was thrilled to have her name first on the team sheet, saying:   “I think relieved is probably the best word.  It’s been great having Meg there and pushing me all the way in the trials, and it’s a massive relief to know that I’m going to Rio and have the opportunity to defend my gold medal.

“It’s amazing that I’m the first athlete to be selected.  I think the last time round I was probably one of the last to get nominated, so it’s from one extreme to the other!  It’s a huge privilege, but also it means that we can really focus on preparing for Rio and the specifics of the venue.

“London was an amazing experience, to compete at a home Games and win gold at a home Games.  But no sailor has yet managed to defend their Paralympic title.  It would be amazing to be the first sailor to be able to do that, so that’s the drive and the goal for Rio.”

Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe congratulated Lucas on her selection, saying:   “With just under 500 days to go, it’s incredibly exciting to name the first athlete who will represent ParalympicsGB in Rio and I’d like to congratulate Helena on her selection to the team.

“There is no doubt that the RYA has created a world-class programme for their Paralympic athletes and Helena’s results reflect her talent, her hard work and the fantastic support she has from her team the RYA.

“Helena’s continued success at the highest level is evidence that this approach is helping GB to maintain their reputation as a leading Sailing nation – and one which occupies the top world ranking spots in all three Paralympic Classes at present.”

RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park said: “We’re delighted to be able to nominate Helena as the first athlete selected for either ParalympicsGB or Team GB for Rio 2016. She has proven her ability to consistently deliver medal success at the highest level.

“Helena has had some tough competition in the selection trials from Megan, but by selecting in the 2.4mR class at this early stage it allows us to focus our attentions on optimising Helena’s performance and the specific challenges of Rio itself, which is a very difficult venue in sailing terms, while at the same time harnessing Megan’s undoubted talent to aid the British Sailing Team’s medal-winning prospects across the Paralympic Classes.”

Great Britain has qualified a further five slots for athletes to compete in the SKUD 18 and the Sonar class at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Competition for places in those classes will continue over the coming months.

For all the latest news from the British Sailing Team, follow us at www.britishsailingteam.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @BritishSailing.



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.