Portland’S Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas has been appointed a director of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy board.

Lucas, who was the only woman to race in the Paralympic single-handed keelboat fleet, claimed victory this summer after beating all 15 of her male competitors.

The 37-year-old’s new role will see her provide ‘a vital link’ between Paralympic Sailing and the Osprey Quay venue, which hosted the London 2012 sailing competition, for years to come.

Lucas, who lives in Fortuneswell, achieved her dream of winning gold in the 2.4metre class on home waters after a tough event in Beijing four years earlier, which saw her finish seventh.

Having regularly trained and raced at the Portland venue for the past four years, Helena is well known at the world-class sailing venue.

She has now moved to the island and will continue to train on local waters as she campaigns for the Rio 2016 Games.

Helena said: “I feel truly honoured to be given such a significant opportunity to become a board member of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.”

She will join an already illustrious set of individuals on the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) board who each have a particular passion to ensure a long term future for the international recognised water sports venue. A fellow WPNSA director, Ben Ainslie, has achieved the record of being the world’s most decorated sailor.

WPNSA chief executive John Tweed said: “Helena will be a very positive influence on the Academy. Having spent the majority of the last four years regularly training on site she knows the venue extremely well.

“To win a medal at the Paralympics is a phenomenal achievement, but to win with a nine-point lead in front of an all-male fleet is truly outstanding.

“The WPNSA board all feel that this inspirational female sailor will provide a vital link to Paralympic sailing for years to come and provide an invaluable insight to the challenges faced by all disabled sailors at whatever ability.”

The WPNSA strives to promote the sport of sailing to all levels of competence and ability, through courses, training and events, while supporting and working closely with the local community.

Find out more at wpnsa.org.uk