Stephen Thomas /

Stephen Thomas

Date of Birth

05 January 1977

Sport

Sailing

Twitter

@Stephen_Thomas1

Biography

Bridgend sailor Stephen Thomas and his three-person keel boat crewmates are keen to build on their previous Paralympic outings in Beijing and Athens where they finished sixth.

The crew has high hopes for London 2012, having just sailed to silver at the World Championships.

Thomas plays an important role in the boat as the central voice between Robertson on the steering tiller, and Stodel, the tactician.

With responsibility for the main sail sheet, Thomas' premier job is to keep the boat moving fast, pulling the main sheet to affect the crew's direction and ensuring messages are passed between the crew:

"You have to make educated guesses. Ten minutes before the start, you devise the best strategy depending on the weather and just try to execute it the best you can in the race. It's all about management. You have to be prepared to adapt and improvise in a split second, and accept that sometimes your decisions might be wrong."

Such inconsistencies are, however, little to a man who harbours a unique passion for the sport and is determined to make it to Beijing:

"I love sailing because it's raw. You use the equipment and the elements to drive you wherever you need to go so you're harnessing the elements.

As a youngster, Steve played rugby for Bridgend. He is also a former member of the Great Britain sledge hockey team and competed at the Winter Paralympics in Turin.

He contracted meningitis at the age of 19 which resulted in his legs being amputated below the knee.

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