Helena Lucas MBE

British Sailing’s “Golden Girl”

Olympic and Paralympic British Sailor; Paralympic Gold Medallist

At London 2012 Helena Lucas made history by becoming the first ever female winner of the male dominated Paralympic class and Britain’s first ever Paralympic sailing gold medallist.

After being born with no thumbs and limited extension in her arms Helena’s parents were advised by medical staff that she would probably struggle to complete even the simplest of tasks; Helena has ever since been proving them wrong and says herself that there is nothing she can’t do apart from give the thumbs up sign!

Helena has been involved with both Olympic and Paralympic campaigns only moving across from the Olympic 470 class where she had competed since 1997 in 2004. Helena made her Paralympic games debut in 2008 where she gained the motivation required to spur her on to the Gold medal spot in 2012.

Prior to Beijing in 2006 Helena was thrust back in to the Olympic world once more when asked by double Olympic Gold medallist Shirley Robertson to stand in as helm for her Yngling crew for the Pre-Olympic Test event in China. With only 3 days of practice together Helena and her crew went on to win the Silver medal. She continued to finish on the podium at various events leading up to the Beijing Paralympic and was a strong medal contender however results did not go her way and she finished a disappointing 7th overall.

Helena believes her experience and disappointment in Beijing is what helped her to become Britain’s sailing Golden girl when she made history with her victory at London 2012. Helena went on to campaign to defend her Gold medal at Rio 2016 and was in fact in Gold Medal position going in to the last race however a plastic bag got caught in her rudder and cost her the Gold Medal. She still held on for the Bronze and by doing so because Britain’s most successful Paralympic sailor.

In 2013 Helen was awarded the ME for her services to sailing, received Honorary doctorate degrees from Bournemouth, Winchester and Southampton Solent and has been nominated for World Sailing “sailor of the year” twice. Helena’s fun, bubbly, charming personality combined with her inspirational stories and determination to win gold make her a highly engaging and captivating speaker for any audience.


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