6 SEPTEMBER 2012, 03:42 PM
Lucas Wins Gold As No Racing Possible On Final Day
No racing was possible on the final day of sailing at the London 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition meaning that the results from the day prior confirmed the medals.
Great Britain’s Helena Lucas (GBR) could see the gold medal insight in the 2.4mR heading into the final day as she held a nine point lead, and when racing was called off at 13:50 her gold medal was confirmed.
Heiko Kroger (GER) and Thierry Schmitter (NED) finished in second and third place.
“This is the dream. This is definitely the dream,” said Lucas. “I don’t think it’s sunk in. It’s a sense of relief, something so, so special. It will hit me in a few days’ time when it all settles down. My dad’s cried more than me.
“Guys hate being beaten up by girls. At the beginning of the week the others weren’t too happy. I think they got used to it as the week went on, as I was consistent.”
The SKUD18 and Sonar golds were settled on the race track yesterday with Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS) taking the SKUD18 gold and Udo Hessels, Marcel van de Veen and Mischa Rossen (NED) taking the Sonar. Both crews had unassailable leads.
Jens Kroker, Siegmund Mainka and Robert Prem (GER) sailed consistently all week to take the silver medal and for Kroker it highlights the hard work his team have put in, “We have been working at this since 1997,” he said. “It is a lot of effort financially, physically and psychologically. I live in Brazil and the crew are in Germany. In the last three months I flew to Germany every weekend to train with them.”
Sonar bronze goes to Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen who leapfrogged Great Britain’s John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas after they received a discretionary four point penalty which let the Norwegians through.
“We have no problem with the way we have won the bronze or how things turned out or with the decision of the jury,” said Wang-Hansen. “It is just one of those things in sailing. You just have to go with these decisions. We feel fine about it and that’s the way it is. That’s sailing, you know.”
The International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) is aware of the decision taken by the International Jury regarding the British Three-Person Keelboat (Sonar). The International Jury protest decision is available to view on the IFDS website here.
A gripping three way SKUD18 battle had been on-going all week and with no final day racing Jen French and JP Creignou (USA) pick up silver medal whilst Alex Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) settle for bronze.
On the tight competiton all week long French said, “It makes the regatta more fun when it’s tight at the top. Eveybody said Weymouth and Portland would have strong winds but we got the lot. All credit to the Australians for their superb sailing. A lot of it has to do with consistency. Our lowest place in the series was fifth – we can’t complain about that. Every day on the water is a learning day.”
2.4mR Top Three
1. Helena Lucas (GBR) – 26pts
2. Heiko Kroger (GER) – 35pts
3. Thierry Schmitter (NED) – 37pts
SKUD18 Top Three
1. Dan Fitzgibbon & Liesl Tesch (AUS) – 14pts
2. Jen French & Jp Creignou (USA) – 20pts
3. Alex Rickham & Niki Birrell (GBR) – 22pts
Sonar Top Three
1. Udo Hessels, Marcel van de Veen & Mischa Rossen (NED) – 20pts
2. Jens Kroker, Siegmund Mainka & Robert Prem (GER) – 40pts
3. Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg & Per Eugen Kristiansen (NOR) – 42pts