2012 Paralympics: Brit's Lucas sitting pretty in the 2.4mR after Day 4

by ISAF 
Helen Lucas (GBR) on Day 4 of the 2012 Paralympics at Portland
David Staley - IFDS ©

Helena Lucas (GBR) made it three wins in a row on the fourth day of 2.4mR racing at the Paralympic Sailing Regatta to extend her lead to 11 points over Heiko Kroger (GER) who won the days other race.

The Brit picked up where she left off from day three by winning Race 7 to make it three wins in a row. The Brit also clawed her way back up the field in Race 8 to finish fourth and extending her overnight lead. On her prospects of winning a medal the Briton said, 'I have to take each race at a time, so it's a matter of sticking to the process.'

Kroger won Race 8 but a sixth in Race 7 handed Lucas the initiative as she continues to run away at the top of the fleet. A fourth and a sixth from Thierry Schmitter (NED) saw him retain third place overall but the gap between the two front runners and the Dutchman widened.

In a 9-10 knot breeze Lucas rounded the first mark of the seventh race in pole position but just two seconds ahead of Paul Tingley (CAN). Lucas used her lightweight to her advantage to extend her lead to nine seconds but the Canadian fought back and had once again reduced the deficit on the second upwind. The Brit managed to stay in front to take a two second victory ahead of Tingley. Mark LeBlanc (USA) remained third all race long finishing ahead of Schmitter, Julio Reguero (PUR) and Kroger who fought hard for fourth spot.

Kroger, the first ever 2.4mR Paralympic gold medallist from Sydney 2000, blew the field away in Race 8 rounding every mark in the lead whilst steadily increasing his advantage throughout. At the end the German took the bullet by 34 seconds ahead of Tingley.

'I won the last race by about 150 metres,' said Kroger. 'Speed and technique were good. I'm satisfied.I'm quite fast in more wind. I don't think Helena Lucas likes strong winds.'

The Canadian was the most consistent sailor of the day recording two seconds bringing a ten point gap between him and third place to four points.

Racing resumes tomorrow at 11:10 local time.

Top Five
1. Helena Lucas (GBR) - 13pts
2. Heiko Kroger (GER) - 24pts
3. Thierry Schmitter (NED) - 30pts
4. Paul Tingley (CAN) - 34pts
5. Damien Seguin (FRA) - 39pts