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