Helena Lucas to guide new RS Venture Connect Class

Helena Lucas, the GBR Bronze and Gold Paralympic Medallist, is to help establish and steer the new RS Venture Connect Class.Helena Lucas -

World Sailing have selected the RS Venture Connect for the 2018 Para World Championships in Sheboygan, USA and also to include it in the Para Development Program (PDP).

The RS Venture’s plug & play para options mean the boat can be quickly configured to suit sailors with a wide range of disabilities, making round-robin racing in supplied boats possible.

Configuration for the Para Worlds in Sheboygan is currently the two-seat set up, but there are discussions to have the option for one seat with the crew being able to move around the boat and hike as required.

With the sailors backing, Helena and the team at RS are confident this is a positive step and will help bring the extremes of disability together and compete on a level playing field.

Helena Lucas commented - “I have had some really positive feedback from sailors, excited by the opportunity to be more physical in the front of the boat, whilst still catering for the more disabled athletes who can take up the seated helming position."

"With the eight point system we are trying to encourage a mix of disabilities to come together and sail with each other and with an extra point up for grabs if your female, support more female participation in our sport.”

The US Sailing Center of Sheboygan in the USA will host the 2018 edition of the Para World Sailing Championships from 16 to 22 September 2018.

RS Sailing will supply eight boats so sailors can compete at the Worlds by simply travelling themselves.

The plan is to trial a stadium style format close to the shore, with heats leading to a final – launching a dramatic new era for para racing.

The RS Venture Connect, with its pathway and accessible competition format opportunities, represents a positive development for sailing during its bid for Paralympic reinstatement.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board will announce its final decision on the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games sport programme in January 2019.

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