Sailing Paralympics: Lucas storms back to top of leaderboard

HELENA Lucas stormed back to the top of the 2.4mR keelboat fleet leaderboard after top performances in yesterday’s light wind conditions at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

With six races completed the discard has come into force and Lucas has a nine-point lead after discounting her 11th place in Race 4.

Amid glorious sunshine, Lucas enjoyed a dominant run in the first race of the day, leading from start to finish to win 36 seconds ahead of her nearest rival – Denmark’s Jen Als Andersen.

Lucas said: “It’s not often you get to have a nice little lead like that, you can actually kind of relax and think ‘If I keep Sailing around this course and don’t do anything stupid I can win’”.

With a comfortable margin now separating her from second-placed German sailor Heiko Kroger, Lucas added: “The lead is fantastic, but a nine-point lead could easily be eroded.

“I’m looking forward to the next races really, I’m quick in these conditions and it seems it’s going to stay quite light.”

The light winds, sometimes dropping below three knots, were far from kind to the Sunday evening leaders.

Overnight leader Kroger had his worst day on the water with a fourth and a discarded 12th.

Dutch sailor Thierry Schmitter is currently third – 12 points behind Lucas.

The 37-year-old ParalympicsGB star, who finished seventh at her Games debut in China, said: “I know the venue really well, I’ve come a long way since Qingdao, my boat speed and the development of equipment and sails has all moved on leaps and bounds.”

Lucas added that she had learned from the alleged ‘pumping’ incident, which she denies, and added: “I’m being really careful with my boat movement. I’m pretty calm and wasn’t rattled by what happened.

“I’ve just got to go out and keep doing what I’m doing.”

The 2.4mR racing resumes today at 2.10pm in Portland Harbour.

n THE best viewing points can be found at Sandsfoot Castle Gardens in Old Castle Road, Castle Cove Sailing Club for members, parts of the Rodwell Trail, along Hamm Beach – accessed from Chesil Beach Visitor Centre car park. Don’t forget your binoculars.

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