Thierry Schmitter Wins Skandia Sail for Gold

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Helena Lucas came desperately close to completing a remarkable British hat-trick in the Paralympic classes. Lucas had pulled up to tie-level with the Netherlands Thierry Schmitter on Wednesday, but Schmitter had the advantage in the tie-break thanks to a first place score. And with no more racing, Lucas was left ruing a lost opportunity, but consoled by a silver medal. “I’m obviously happy with the silver medal but at the same time a little frustrated as I was so close to the gold.”

“The last race on Wednesday, which was the last race of the regatta, I was in fourth which would have given me the gold but at the last minute I was piped over the line. The boat from Norway caught a good wave which took him over just in front – it was so close and so frustrating, as I kind of knew it was going to be the last race of the regatta. But it’s still good to medal and obviously its September that counts!”

Both Schmitter and Lucas may be pleased to have beaten gold and silver medallist Damien Seguin of France – one of Paralympic sailing’s most be-medalled individuals. Seguin had to settle for bronze on this occasion, four points behind the lead pair. Thierry Schmitter said, “I’m thrilled to have won, it’s a shame that we only got to sail three days when we came here to sail five, but the weather you can’t control and the good thing is that I finally won this regatta. The lesson is that you have to be good at every race and not wait until the second half of the regatta to get into the lead.”