Career pinnacle

Iain Percy looks back at his Gold medal win in the Star in Qingdao
As a Union Jack waiver, one of the top stories to come out of the recent sailing competition at the Beijing Games was that of Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson’s gold in the Star. Olympic sailing’s class for grown-ups, where most career Olympic sailors end up after they have ticked off the Laser or Finn or which America’s Cup afterguards return to to resharpen their skills, the Star can perhaps be considered the pinnacle of Olympic classes. So for Percy and his +39 strategist and long term Olympic sparring partner Simpson to win gold in this class represents the high point of their sailing careers. Since returning from Qingdao the British sailing gold medallists have been all over the media. Percy reckons that this is partly down to the success of Team GBR but also due to people in the UK getting excited about the prospect of 2012 and the Games coming to these shores. The highlight, for us at least, was seeing Percy and Simpson on the popular TV show, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross where our man was spotted on camera deep in conversation with model and actress Kelly Brook. “She was nice enough! I got caught there,” Percy admits. “We were only chatting for about 10 minutes unfortunately. We had a good laugh that night – we were out with [Olympic cyclist] Bradley Wiggins and he can keep up with the sailors. He descended quite hard, given he was doing the tour of Britain the next week. He definitely has natural fitness that man.” While this is all quite jocular, to achieve Olympic Gold in the Star, Percy and Simpson had the fight of their lives on. As Percy puts it: “There were many gold medallists, everyone was going to be going 100%, no one was going to