Helena Lucas wins Ladies Day Trophy in SB20 at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas wins prestigious award from strong line-up of nominees.
Helena Lucas, MBE, was awarded the Ladies Day Trophy at the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Ladies Day ceremony earlier this evening.
Lucas was chosen as winner of this prestigious Ladies Day award from a strong line-up of nominees, but it was her sheer determination that has encouraged many other women to become involved in sailing that contributed to her being presented with the 2013 Ladies Day Trophy award.
Lucas, who was born with no thumbs and limited extension in her arms, made history claiming 2.4mR Paralympic gold medal at London 2012, becoming the first ever female winner of the male dominated Paralympic class and Britain’s first ever Paralympic sailing gold medallist.
She is also in the unusual position of having completed both Olympic and Paralympic campaigns. Having sailed 470s since 1997, she moved into the Paralympic 2.4mR in 2003 before making her Paralympic Games debut at Beijing 2008, finishing seventh. Lucas is continuing on the road to Rio 2016 on a quest for her second gold medal.
This week Lucas is sailing an SB20 with her coach Ian Barker – Olympic Silver Medallist in Sydney 2000 in the 49er class, and Vicky Rawlinson – former 420 youth world champion and Olympic 470 trialist.
Of the many other nominations received for the trophy, four other sailors competing here at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week were commended and were at this evening’s ceremony to collect their runners-up prizes.
Pip Hare – is a professional ocean racing sailor. She has clocked over 120,000 miles across the worlds’ oceans and in 2011 achieved her goal; to qualify and compete against Europe’s top sailors in the Mini Transat race. She is now preparing for the 2013 Mini Transat and hopes to achieve her ambition of a Series Class podium finish. Hare holds down a full-time position on the RNLI’s Coastal Safety Team, coaches, and promotes sailing all around the world.
Jan Ford – has sailed in almost every Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week for the past 30 years in the Black Group regatta fleet and has also been the Etchells class secretary, and ambassador to the class for over 20 years – working ashore for the sport as well as competing on the water.
Natasha Lambert – has Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, which affects her limbs and speech. However, in September 2012 she sailed single-handedly around the Isle of Wight to demonstrate that anyone can achieve their dreams. She also took on a solo cross-channel challenge earlier this year, and throughout both adventures raised funds for charities including the RNLI, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and Wet Wheels.
Julie Hodder – from Australia has been a yachtswoman for over 45 years and has competed in most Australian events. She was the first female Commodore of the Middle Harbour Yacht Club and is actively involved in helping develop junior sailing, volunteering huge amounts of time to provide opportunities for able-bodied and disabled sailors.