By Emily Goddard

Helena Lucas 1804131April 18 - Helena Lucas, Britain's first Paralympic sailing champion since the sport became part of the full Games programme in 2000, will get back into action for the first time since winning gold at London 2012 when she competes at the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup in Hyeres next week.

The 33-year-old (pictured top), who claimed gold in the 2.4mR at last summer's Paralympics in front of her home crowd on the waters of Weymouth and Portland, said she's ready to get back into competition at the event in France, which takes place on April 22 until 27.

"It's bizarre because in some ways [the Games] does seem like ages ago, but when you think it's actually more than half-a-year, it's like 'wow'," she said.

"So much has happened since then, it has been a whirlwind.

"I don't think I've really had time to stop and absorb it all.

"I think after all the hype off the back of winning my gold medal, I feel like I'm ready to get my feet back down on the ground and start going sailing and back to the slightly more 'familiar' parts of my life – focussing on sailing and training and all that goes with that."

After achieving her ultimate dream at London 2012, Lucas says she has no hesitations about competing at the Paralympics again in Rio in 2016 and believes she still has much more to give, although her first priority is focussing on her performance in France.

Helena Lucas 180413Helena Lucas says she will focus on her racing and tactics at the World Cup

"There wasn't any hesitation as to whether to continue [to Rio] or not, because we just felt there was so much more to do," she explained.

"We'd run out of time [for London], but there was more to give, more to do and it just seemed like such a shame to throw everything away that we'd already done without having gone down the other alleyways that we hadn't had the chance to explore for 2012.

"It'll be really good to just get back out there on the water and see everybody again.

"I haven't seen the other 2.4mR sailors for a little while so it'll be nice to see all those faces and just get back into the routine of things.

"My aim for the week is just really to focus on the racing and tactics and getting settled back into it again.

"It's been a while, but I'm hoping it'll be like riding a bike."

John Robertson Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas 180413John Robertson Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas will return to the water at the ISAF World Cup in France

Joining Lucas in the 2.4mR fleet next week will be Megan Pascoe, who will be aiming for a third straight World Cup podium finish to add to her gold at the Miami event in January and silver earlier this month in Palma.

Britain's three-time Paralympic trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas will also have their first outing since the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the Sonar event at the ISAF World Cup.

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