By Tom Degun

Helena-LucasOctober 8 - Britain's Helena Lucas, who sensationally claimed gold in the 2.4mR fleet at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where she was the only female sailor in the race, has been nominated for the top women's prize at the 2012 International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards.

The 37-year-old from Surrey – who was born with defects in both her thumbs – dominated the Paralympic competition at the Weymouth and Portland venue to secure victory against her 15 male rivals, three of whom were Paralympic gold medallists heading into the competition.

But Lucas made light work of them, taking four bullets in the 10 race series to clinch Britain's first ever Paralympic sailing gold medal.

"There is a great sense of relief to finally fulfil my dream of winning a gold medal," said Lucas, who finished seventh at her Paralympic debut in Beijing in 2008.

"Beijing was a huge disappointment so to come back with a gold medal in London is fantastic."

Helena Lucas_08-10-12Helena Lucas dominated her competition in the 2.4mR fleet on her way to gold at the London 2012 Paralympics

The feat makes Lucas one of the top contenders for the prestigious ISAF women's prize although a formidable shortlist has been unveiled.

Other contenders for include the Spanish women's match racing team of Tamara Echegoyen, Angela Pumariega and Sofio Toro who won Olympic gold at London 2012, as well as Britain's Saskia Sills, the RS:X ISAF Youth Sailing World Champion and European Youth Champion.

The shortlist is completed by China's Lijia Xu, the laser radial London 2012 Olympic gold medallist.

The winner will be announced at the 2012 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards presentation and dinner, which will take place next month on November 6 in Dublin, Ireland.

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