By James Crook

151356126February 17 - Britain's Paralympic sailing gold medallist Helena Lucas is planning to compete at the International 2.4 Metre class Open World Championships in Poole this September.

Based in Weymouth, which hosted sailing during London 2012, the 37-year-old Lucas became the first ever female winner of the 2.4mR class Paralympic title, as well as becoming Great Britain's first Paralympic sailing gold medallist.

She will compete against able-bodied and disabled male and female athletes at The Poole Yacht Club in Dorset in the Open World Championships between September 6 and September 14.

"I'm only doing a handful of 2.4mR events this year but I always really wanted to try to fit the Open Worlds in if we could work my schedule around it." she said

"Gladly we have.

151356251Helena Lucas won gold at the London 2012 Paralympics, finishing ahead of Heiko Kroger (left) and Thierry Schmitter (right)

"There is something incredibly special about competing on familiar waters and I've got a lot of good friends within the 2.4mR class who have been so supportive of me over the years, so I'm delighted to have signed up.

"The Open Worlds are an almost unique event as they showcase the accessibility of the 2.4mR as a boat that can be sailed equally well by both able-bodied and disabled sailors.

"I'm really looking forward to mixing it up in what is always a fiercely-competitive fleet."

Lucas was born with no thumbs and limited extension in her arms.

She controls her boat with a tiller and foot pedals, using the pedals for manoeuvres so that she has both hands free to pull the ropes.

Following her success at London 2012, Lucas was appointed as a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's New Year's Honours List for her services to sailing.

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