When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
AFLOAT: Portland duo set to clash at world champs
PORTLAND sailing stars Helena Lucas and Megan Pascoe are looking to make waves at the 2013 International 2.4 Metre Class Open World Championships in Dorset.
London 2012 Paralympic sailing champion Lucas and her biggest British Sailing Team rival Pascoe will go head-to-head with 80 athletes from 12 nations at the Poole Yacht Club-hosted regatta next week.
Racing will take place from Tuesday to Friday in one of the unique events on the international sailing calendar.
Although the 2.4mR is best known in Britain for being the Paralympic single-handed boat, internationally the class is predominantly sailed by able-bodied athletes.
At the open worlds, Lucas, Pascoe and other top Paralympians including Australia’s Matt Bugg and Barend Kol of the Netherlands will take on the cream of the able-bodied 2.4mR community including current world champion Peter Andersson of Sweden.
Lucas and Pascoe recently competed at the IFDS Disabled World Championships, held in Kinsale, Ireland, where they finished ninth and eighth respectively.
And they are looking forward to heading straight into the open worlds.
Pascoe, who won bronze at last year’s open worlds in Porto San Giorgio, Italy and claimed victory at last month’s 2013 2.4mR Tidal National on Poole waters, is feeling confident.
The 26-year-old said: “It is really exciting to have the worlds in Poole.
“Many know the Solent and Weymouth but Poole is a real gem in between. It is going to be a challenging place to sail due to shifts and tide.
“It’s a very different prospect to the worlds last year but I think it will be a great way to round off the season.”
Meanwhile, Lucas, who clinched her London 2012 gold medal on Dorset waters exactly 12 months ago, has not done a huge amount of 2.4mR sailing this year, preferring to concentrate on other disciplines before focusing her attention on Rio 2016 from next year.
However, she admits the chance to race so close to home was too good an opportunity to turn down.
Lucas, 38, said: “The open worlds are an almost unique event as they showcase the accessibility of the 2.4mR as a boat that can be sailed equally well by by both able-bodied and disabled sailors.
“I’m really looking forward to mixing it up in what is always a fiercely-competitive fleet.”
Other Dorset sailors competing at the world championships include Mark Taylor of Milborne St Andrew and Steve Brown of Sturminster Marshall.
Typically, 25-30 per cent of an international 2.4mR worlds fleet is classified with a range in type and severity of disability.
However, the boat’s design – a stable keelboat which has the fingertip feel of a dinghy and is insensitive to sailor size – means every competing athlete, regardless of ability, age or gender, has just as much chance of claiming the top prize.
Visit www.24mworlds2013.co.uk or follow @24mRWorlds2013 on Twitter.
Comments are closed on this article.