By Tom Degun

Poole HabourJanuary 7 - The 2013 International 2.4 metre Class Open World Championships are set to take place in Poole this September with the competition being in of the very few events in the sport where able-bodied and disabled sailors compete together.

The Championships will be staged by the Poole Yacht Club from September 6 until 14 with International 2.4mR being the only class where able-bodied and disabled sailors, male and female, compete in the same boats on a level playing field.

A best-ever fleet of around 100 sailors is anticipated at the event with a top cast of able-bodied and disabled sailors set to attend, including Britain's 2.4mR London 2012 Paralympic champion Helena Lucas.

The 2.4mR is the one-person Paralympic Games boat and typically 25-30 per cent of an International 2.4mR fleet is classified with a range in type and severity of disability, making it an even playing field.

"We are delighted to be bringing the 2013 Worlds to Poole," said International 2.4mR class Association secretary Steve Bullmore.

"This event always captures the imagination wherever it's staged because the racing is so unique.

"You have Paralympic and disabled worlds medallists going head-to-head with top able-bodied athletes in unbelievably tight, tactical and strategic racing.

"The 2.4mR is a keelboat but has the fingertip feel of a dinghy.

"The sailor sits facing forwards in the 'cockpit' of the boat with all controls within arms' reach, so the sailing isn't physically demanding.

"Also the boat is insensitive to different sailor sizes, as body weight is always close to its centre of gravity.

"This is why we get such equal and intriguing competition."

Helena-LucasBritain’s 2.4mR London 2012 Paralympic champion Helena Lucas is expected to compete at the International 2.4 Metre Class Open World Championships in Poole

All racing will take place in the famous Poole Harbour, which typically presents tidal, flatter conditions with a South-Westerly prevailing wind.

"It's been a lot of very hard work in a very short space of time, but when you're offered the chance to stage such a prestigious event, you don't turn it down," said Poole Yacht Club Rear Commodore Tim Edom.

"We're very honoured to be hosts and look forward to welcoming so many world class sailors to compete on Poole Harbour's stunning waters."

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