Event: Single-Person Keelboat
Equipment: 2.4 Metre
Racing Dates: 8-13 September
2004 Paralympic Games Medallists
1. Damien SEGUIN (FRA)
2. Thomas BROWN (USA)
3. Thierry SCHMITTER (NED)
2000 Paralympic Games Medallists
1. Heiko KROGER (GER)
2. Jens ANDERSEN (DEN)
3. Thomas BROWN (USA)
The pressure is on for Frenchman Damien SEGUIN as he attempts to defend his gold medal winning performance of the Athens Games in a fleet that includes three sailing Paralympic medallists, world champions and some newer but incredibly talented sailors.
His main opposition will come from Sydney 2000 gold medallist Heiko KROGER (GER), silver medallist Jens ANDERSEN (DEN) and Athens bronze medallist Thierry SCHMITTER (NED).
While the name on everyone's lips is KROGER, another name that keeps cropping up is that of Paralympic newcomer Helena LUCAS (GBR).
LUCAS replaced two-time Olympic gold medallist Shirley ROBERTSON (GBR) at the helm of the British entry for the 2006 Olympic Test Event in Qingdao and won the gold medal. Previously, LUCAS campaigned a 470 double-handed dinghy for Olympic competition, but missed selection. She is one of a minority of sailors who has campaigned at both Olympics and Paralympics and like her team mates, is highly motivated following the British Olympic team's medal-winning performances in Qingdao two weeks ago.
Of the 16 entries in the 2.4mR, the British sailor is the only female and the guys are taking her very seriously: "I think she is the one to watch here," confessed Zoltan PEGAN (HUN), who is another sailor the fleet will have to watch.
PEGAN, originally from Australia but now competing for Hungary, earlier this year added a second successive IFDS World title to his name, with his victory in the multihull challenger class. He also has other major trophies in his cabinet.
About the 2.4 Metre
The 2.4 Metre is a single-handed keelboat which are one-fifth scale versions of the 12 Metre boats used for past editions of the America's Cup. The class was introduced as the Mini 12 Class by the Scandinavian Sailing Federation in 1982 before being granted ISAF International Status in 1993.
The 2.4 Metre has classic lines with a very high ballast ration giving excellent stability and a hull form that copes well in a variety of wind speeds. The Class Rules require positive buoyancy in the case of flooding and it is therefore a very safe class. It is a self righting and unsinkable keelboat with a fully adjustable rig providing close racing for all ages and abilities where skill rather than physical fitness is the deciding factor.
The strength and agility of the helm play little part in sailing the boat competitively and it is therefore popular with many less mobile and disabled sailors as they can compete on a level playing field against able-bodied sailors. The 2.4 Metre can be steered by either a foot pedal or tiller.
Find out more about the 2.4 Metre here.
Australia - Aaron HILL
Canada - Paul TINGLEY
China - Mingxue QI
Denmark - Jens ANDERSEN
Finland - Juhani MATTILA
France - Damien SEGUIN
Germany - Heiko KROGER
Great Britain - Helena LUCAS
Greece - George DELIKOURAS
Hungary - Zoltan PEGAN
Italy - Fabrizo OLMI
Netherlands - Thierry SCHMITTER
Norway - Bjornar ERIKSTAD
Puerto Rico - Julio REGUERO
Spain - Emilio FERNANDEZ
USA - John RUF
ISAF Paralympic Games microsite - www.sailing.org/paralympics