Inspired by the amazing scenes from the Olympic sailing event in Weymouth & Portland? Feel like you missed out? Well it's not over yet - there's still a chance to see some of the action as the Paralympic Sailing Competition starts on September 1.


Sonars head downwind - photo Richard Langdon/Skandia Team GBR

The classes
There are three Paralympic classes; the 2.4mR (one person boat), Skud (two person boat) and Sonar (three person boat). Team GB has entries in each class, and has realistic medal prospects in each one as well!

Unlike the Olympics, where Team GB is a dominant force in the Sailing, Britain has failed to medal in the Paralympics - only managing to medal back when Sailing was a demonstration sport and Andy Cassell took gold. For 2012 the Paralympic Sailing Team is the strongest ever, all three teams have previous Games experience and all three have medalled at world championships in their respective classes.

Team GB's hopes of a medal are led by Alex Rickham and Niki Birrell in the Skud class. The duo are unbeaten in the class world championships for the last four years, basically since they switched roles after a disappointing event at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008.

Then, in the three-person Sonar class, we have John Robertson, Stephen Thomas and Hannah Stodel. The trio finished sixth in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games - so they have plenty of experience as a team.

Last but by no means least, in the singlehanded 2.4mR class it's Helena Lucas - who has proved herself not just on the Paralympic but also on the open world circuit - where she took bronze in 2005. She was seventh at the Paralympics in 2008 and will be looking to get onto the podium for 2012.


Watching the Paralympics
Even if you don't have tickets, there are plenty of places to watch the sailing from, read Paula Irish's handy guide to the non-ticketed viewing areas Weymouth: Olympic Sailing From the Beach.

The Paralympic Sailing schedule
The 2012 Paralympic Sailing competition runs from September 1-6. Two races per day are scheduled for each of the three classes, culminating in double-points medal races for each class on the final day, September 6.

Written by: Gael Pawson
Gael Pawson is the editor of Yachts & Yachting Magazine and the founder of Creating Waves. A keen racer, she has sailed all her life, and started writing about the subject whilst studying journalism at university. Dinghies and small keelboats are her first loves, but she has cruised and raced a huge variety of boats in locations across the world.