Helena Lucas

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Helen Lucas
Personal information
Nationality  Great Britain
Sailing career
Class(es) 2.4mR OneDesign

Helena Lucas MBE (born 29 April 1975) is a British Paralympic sailor.

Personal life[edit]

Lucas was born on 29 April 1975 in Redhill, Surrey, England.[1] She was born with a defect in both of her thumbs which makes her eligible to compete in Paralympic events.[2]

In 1996 she graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree in Yacht and Power Craft Design from Southampton Solent University.[1][3]


Lucas initially focused on competing in the 470 class in non-disabled competition, attempting to qualify to compete for Great Britain at both the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2004 Athens Games. After 2004 she switched to sailing in the 2.4mR class, a Paralympic event contested in a single-person keelboat.[1] In 2006, she stood in for Shirley Robertson as a member of the British crew in the Yngling event at a test event for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China; competing alongside Annie Lush and Lucy MacGregor, she won a silver medal.[1]

She represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, finishing in seventh position in the 2.4mR.[1]

Lucas was chosen to compete for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, again in the 2.4 mR – 1 person keelboat event. She was the last member of the British sailing team to be selected after the announcement of the 2.4 mR representative was delayed because of the close competition between Lucas and Megan Pascoe.[4] At the Games she was the only woman in the fleet of 16 sailors who contested the event.[5][6] Heading into the final race she was in first place and held a nine-point lead over second-place sailor Heiko Kroger of Germany, which meant she was guaranteed at least a silver medal. Due to a lack of wind the races on the final day of competition were cancelled, meaning Lucas won the gold medal. She became the first British sailor ever to win a Paralympic gold medal.[7]

Lucas was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to sailing.[8][9] In April 2015, she became the first person named to represent Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Helena Lucas". British Paralympic Association. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Paralympic success". The Daily Sail. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Helena Lucas". The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Sailing team completed by addition of Helena Lucas to ParalympicsGB at London 2012". British Paralympic Association. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Telegraph Sport (4 September 2012). "Paralympics 2012: Helena Lucas extends lead to move closer to Britain's first ever sailing medal". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Single-Person Keelboat (2.4mR)". The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Alexander, Stuart (6 September 2012). "Sailing: Team GB win gold in Weymouth due to lack of wind". The Independent. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 25. 
  9. ^ [1] Cabinet Office
  10. ^ "Rio Paralympics: Helena Lucas named on GB sailing team". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 April 2015.