Lucas not taking gold for granted
5:38pm Wednesday 5th September 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
Helena Lucas will sail for 2.4mR gold tomorrow safe in the knowledge that she will leave London 2012 with at least a silver medal.
The 37-year-old - the only woman in the one-person keelboat fleet - boasts a nine-point cushion over second-placed German Heiko Kroger heading into tomorrow's final race.
Lucas recorded an eighth and fifth today to put her in a strong position heading into race 11, although she will not be taking anything for granted.
"Having led for most of the week, I've obviously got my eye firmly set on the gold medal but I'm not too excited yet as I still know there is a job to do," she said.
"I've got a nice points cushion so I will go out there, enjoy the race and keep my eye on Heiko.
"I don't think the boys in the fleet were too happy at the beginning of the week with a girl leading, but I think they have got used to the fact I'm up there and sailing really well.
"I think they are resigned to the fact they have got a bit of a job on their hands to beat me tomorrow.
"It was a hard today. I was actually really quick on the water but in the first race it was really shifty and I struggled a little bit to get a handle on the shifts.
"Maybe I got a little bit caught out by following where Heiko was going and neither of us did a good job at the first beat.
"I then learnt the lessons from that race and realised I've just got to sail my own race and forget about the competition and get on with it.
"I had a really solid second race but it was really tight racing, one minute I would be leading and then the next minute it wouldn't be looking so good."
Prior to London 2012, Great Britain had not won a Paralympic sailing medal since the sport joined the Paralympic programme at Sydney 2000.
That, though, will change tomorrow with Lucas guaranteed at least silver and the British SKUD crew assured of bronze.
Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell currently sit third, two points behind Jen French and JP Creignou of the United States heading into the final race.
It will be a two-way tussle for silver as Australia's Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch hold an unassailable lead in gold medal position.
"Congratulations to the Australians they have sailed a good regatta," Birrell said.
"Alex and I obviously wanted that gold medal so are a bit disappointed right now.
"We've got a bronze medal in the bag and are going to wake up in the morning and fight as hard as we can against the Americans for silver, which is the best we can do now."