Sonar Sailors win Gold at International Foundation for Disabled Sailing World Championships

After four days of racing at the International Foundation for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) World Championships in Sonderberg, Denmark, RYA Team GBR members John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas have won a gold medal in the Sonar.

The IFDS Worlds hosted racing in both the 2.4mR and the Sonar. With nine races to squeeze in and almost 50 boats out on the water the race committee had a busy week ahead of them. The event started with 10-20 knots and big swells out on the water, eventually dropping down to 5-6 knots on the final day of racing.

Athens Paralympians, John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas won the gold medal after putting up a strong fight. On the final day, with three boats chasing the gold medal, the team had to start in clear air, sail fast and let the other boats trip themselves up. At the windward mark two of the chasing boats got caught up and had to turn circles, leaving the British team to sail for the finish line and take the gold.

Sonar Coach Mark Rushall commented: “Our main goal at this event was to sail consistently and we certainly achieved that in both strong and light winds. The sailors are really excited about winning this event and are looking forward to competing in Cowes at the Sonar Worlds at the end of the month.”

Thirty four 2.4mRs turned up for the event. RYA Team GBR member Helena Lucas sailed well finishing in the top five in six of the nine races and in fourth place overall with 36 points. “Unfortunately I had one bad day of racing and dropped out of the top three and was unable to recover.” Lucas explained, “I am disappointed about the final results, but I’m fired up for the 2.4mR Worlds next week.”

Megan Pascoe, a member of the RYA Development squad also had a notable performance. After taking time off from sailing to complete her A-levels, the IFDS Worlds marked her return to top level sailing competitions. Finishing in fifth place overall Pascoe has made her stamp on this event and is one to watch at the forthcoming 2.4mR Worlds.

Overall Results


1, Damien Seguin, FRA (1,1,1,2,1,1,1,2,(dnc) 10 pts

2, Heiko Kroger, GER (2,2,2,4,2,2,7,5,(23)) 26 pts

3, Thierry Schmitter, NED (3,4,4,1,7,3,3,4,(21)) 29 pts


4, Helena Lucas (4,3,3,3,3,9,9,(13)2) 36 pts

5, Megan Pascoe (11,(13),5,9,6,4,5,6,7) 53 pts

12, Allan Smith (8,11,17,6,8,5,11,(21)18) 84 pts

13, Michael Cogswell (6,9,6,10,14,13,13,14(24)) 85 pts

32, Andrew Previte (dns, dnc,dnc,dnc,dnc,(dnc)28,31,30) 264 pts


1, John Robertson/Hannah Stodel/Stephen Thomas, GBR (2,3,1,2,4,2,2,(7),2) 18 pts

2, Jostein Stordhal/Aleksander Wang-Hansen/Per Eugen Kristiansen, NOR (3,1,2,1,3,1(10),4,8)23 pts

3, Jens Kroker/Holger Schonenberg/Tobias Schuetz, GER (5,(9),3,4,1,3,5,1,4) 26 pts