Paralympian gold medallist throws support behind ‘Door to Shore’

British sailing’s golden girl, Helena Lucas MBE, has added her support to our Door to Shore campaign – which aims to build some of the best facilities in the UK for disabled sailors.

Our current base at the Sussex Yacht Club in Shoreham, is to be demolished to make way for flood defences to protect the town.  However, this has allowed an opportunity to ensure that the new facilities are built with accessibility at its heart.

Our ‘Door to Shore’ campaign aims to raise £538,000 which will enable us, in partnership with Sussex Yacht Club, to create a fully accessible centre of sailing excellence in Shoreham for those with disabilities.

Paralympian Helena made history at London 2012 by becoming Britain’s first ever Paralympic sailing gold medallist, before going onto win Bronze in Rio.  She heard about our Door to Shore fundraising campaign and was keen to add her support to that of fellow Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie. 

Helena said, “Sailing is a real leveller and can transform people’s lives. So, please help Sussex Sailability to raise the funds needed for their new fully accessible Yacht Club. 

“It will enable disabled sailors to enjoy the amazing experience sailing gives; that sense of freedom and independence when you push off from the dock leaving all disability behind, just you, the boat, the sea and the wind.”  

Terry Kinch, the Commodore of Sussex Yacht Club and a Trustee of Sussex Sailability said, “Sussex Yacht Club established Sussex Sailability in 2001 and it really has gone from strength to strength.

“We are absolutely delighted to have Helena’s support for the Door to Shore campaign and what she says about sailing being transformative is absolutely the motivation for what we’re doing here.  We’d done everything we could with the old building to make it accessible, but now we have a once in a lifetime chance to create fantastic facilities that will change the lives of people with disabilities.

“Our first fundraising target to hit is £225,000, which we’re hoping to get to before the end of the year.  That will cover the costs of the essential ramps that we need to access the new building from the town centre.  However, I’m confident that this is achievable with the support of our wonderful local community and the sailing community.

“The goal of Door to Shore is to empower as many people as possible, with all kinds of disabilities, to have the confidence to give sailing a try and experience the feeling of freedom that it gives.”

“Who knows, with the right facilities, Shoreham might produce a future Paralympian like Helena!”

Work has already begun on the new clubhouse and facilities, which have been designed by specialist architects.  The new building will be opened in 2020. 

For further details of our Door to Shore Fundraising Campaign, or to donate please visit

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