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Helena Lucas MBE: Paralympic Gold and Bronze medallist and Inspirational Speaker.

British sailing's golden girl, Helena Lucas MBE made  history claiming 2.4mR Paralympic gold at London 2012, becoming the first ever female winner of the male dominated Paralympic class and Britain's first ever Paralympic sailing gold medallist.

Helena Lucas MBE  then went on to campaign for Rio on a quest for her second gold medal.  She was the first athlete to be selected for Team GB and after a hard fought week battling on the waters of Rio was in Gold Medal position going into the last race.  However she unfortunately picked up a plastic bag on her rudder, costing her the Gold medal and having to settle for Bronze.  

Helena Lucas MBE has won numerous medals at world Championships over her sailing career and has been nominated by World Sailing for "Sailor of the year" twice.  She was awarded the MBE in 2013 for her services to sailing.

Helena Lucas MBE has a unique story to tell, having campaigned in both Olympic and Paralympic classes, she was also the only female competing in the 2.4mR class in London, beating her male rivals to Gold.  Her fun, bubbly, charming personality combined with her inspirational stories and determination to win gold, make her highly engaging and captivating for any audience, large or small.

Helena Lucas MBE tailors her presentation to suit the needs of the client and can interact with a wide range of people and organisations, from delivering motivational talks to buisnesses, after dinner speeches at functions and awards evenings, to entertaining and motivating school children.

Key Speaking topics include

Dream Big, setting and achieving goals.

Setbacks are a stepping stone to success

Always a solution to a problem

Detail matters, leave no stone unturned

Performing under pressure

Core Values

Embracing your opportunities

Helena Lucas MBE: Paralympic Gold and Bronze medallist and Inspirational Speaker.

Helena Lucas MBE: Paralympic Gold and Bronze medallist and Inspirational Speaker.

Helena Lucas MBE, was born with no thumbs and limited extension in her arms.  Her parents were told by doctors she would never be able to write or use scissors and would probably struggle to do other things most of us take for granted.  Helena proved them all wrong, she is the first to say there is nothing she can’t do apart from give the thumbs up sign!

Helena’s dream since she was six years old was to compete at the Olympics, however sailing was not the obvious sport at first.  Terrified in the front of her parents boat at the age of eight, it was not until she was eleven that she developed a passion for sailing and realised she also had a talent for it. 

Helena Lucas MBE is in the unusual position of having done both Olympic and Paralympic campaigns. Having sailed the Olympic 470 since 1997 she moved into the Paralympic 2.4mR in 2004 before making her Games debut at Beijing 2008. 

One of the biggest decisions Helena Lucas MBE had to make was the switch from Olympics’ to Paralympics.  Never having considered herself disabled and always sailed in the able bodied classes since eight, she had concerns about making the switch.  Would she get the same buzz, level of competition and enjoyment from competing at the Paralympics?  It was the best decision she has ever made and opened her eyes to the Paralympic Games and the amazing athletes that compete.

 In July 2006 Helena Lucas MBE had the opportunity to step back into the Olympic classes when she was asked by double Olympic gold medallist, Shirley Robertson, to stand in as helm for her Yngling crew for the Pre-Olympic Test event in Qingdao China. Shirley was expecting twins so unable to compete herself. With only 3 days of practice together,  Helena Lucas MBE and her crew went on to win the Silver medal.   She continued to finish on the podium in the build up to the Beijing Paralympics and was a strong medal contender going into the regatta, however finished a disappointing 7th overall.

Helena Lucas MBE believes her experience and disappointment in Beijing is what helped  her to becoming Britain’s sailing golden girl, making history claiming 2.4mR Paralympic gold at London 2012, becoming the first ever female winner of the male dominated Paralympic class and Britain's first ever Paralympic sailing gold medallist.

Helena Lucas MBE  then went on to campaign for Rio on a quest for her second gold medal.  She was the first athlete to be selected for Team GB and after a hard fought week battling on the waters of Rio was in Gold Medal position going into the last race.  However she unfortunately picked up a plastic bag on her rudder, costing her the Gold medal and having to settle for Bronze.  

Outside of the sporting arena Helena Lucas MBE graduated in 1996 from Southampton Solent University with a BEng Hons in Yacht and Power Craft design.  She was married to her long time partner Stephen Thomas in 2010.

In 2013 Helena Lucas was awarded the MBE for her services to sailing and also Honorary Doctorate degrees from Winchester, Southampton Solent and Bournemouth Universities.  She has been nominated by World Sailing for “sailor of the Year” twice.

Helena Lucas MBE uses her experiences, the highs and the lows from her sporting career to motivate her audience and deliver key life changing messages. Her fun, bubbly, charming personality combined with her inspirational stories and determination to win gold, make her highly engaging and captivating for any audience, large or small.

Helena Lucas MBE tailors her presentation to suit the needs of the client and can interact with a wide range of people and organisations, from delivering motivational talks to businesses, after dinner speeches at functions and awards evenings, to entertaining and motivating school children.

Key messages

Dream Big, setting and achieving goals.

Setbacks are a stepping stone to success

Always a solution to a problem

Detail matters, leave no stone unturned

Performing under pressure

Core Values

Embracing your opportunities

Career Highlights

December 15 - IFDS Worlds, Melbourne, Australia - 4th

August 14-2.4mR Open Worlds, Toronto, Canada - 3rd

July 14-IFDS Worlds, Halifax, Canada, - 2nd

Aug 13-Awarded the ‘Ladies Day trophy’ at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

Aug 13-2.4mR Open Worlds, Poole, U.K -2nd

Jan 13- Awarded an MBE for services to sailing

Dec 12 Nominated for ISAF sailor of the Year, Dublin, Ireland

Sept 12- London 2012 Paralympic games, UK - Gold

June 12- Skandia Sail for gold Regatta, UK - 2nd

May 12 - French Olympic Sailing Week, FRA – 2nd

April 12- Princess Sofia Regatta, ESP – 2nd

Jan 12- IFDS Worlds, Florida, USA – 4th

Dec 11 – IFDS Pre Worlds, USA – 1st

July 11 -  IFDS Worlds, UK- 3rd

Aug 08 - Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, CHN - 7th

Aug 06 - Beijing 2008 Pre Test Event - 2nd

Helena Lucas MBE: Paralympic Gold and Bronze medallist and Inspirational Speaker

Helena Lucas MBE  is a huge inspiration and a fantastic asset for the sport of sailing. She’s great fun and lights up any room she walks into!”

Ben Ainslie, Four times Olympic gold medallist and ex British Sailing Team mate


Helena Lucas MBE  gave a talk to my sales force in November 2016. The team were fascinated by her story, her enthusiasm and her will to win. She was very accommodating and gave the talk at short notice. It was what we asked for – a demonstration of determination. She may be small in stature but her words were powerful!

Steve Upson, Polypipe Divisional Sales Director South

“Charles Russell have been delighted with their long term association with  Helena Lucas MBE, up to the Beijing Olympics and then on to her great victory in the spectacular Paralympic sailing at Weymouth and Portland last August. Her combination of excellence and inspiration has always appealed to us and we look forward to working with her and more success in the future.”

Mike Scott, Chairman, Charles Russell LLP

“We all enjoyed a lively, enthusiastic gallop through Helena Lucas 's fascinating experiences from Beijing 2008 to London 2012 which enthralled an audience that ranged from their mid 20s to active pensioners.”

David Warren, Moody Owners Association

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