Iain Percy


Ed Gorman writes about the man who made winning Britain's first ever Finn Gold medal look all so easy
They always say that great sportsmen and women make things look easy. Iain Percy made winning a gold medal in the Finn class look just so - he even had the impertinence to do it with a race to spare. Shirley Robertson and Ben Ainslie won their titles in Europes and Lasers only by the narrowest of margins and after agonisingly close final encounters. But Perky breezed home after sailing Fredy Loof of Sweden down the pack in the penultimate race, destroying a high quality fleet replete with experienced campaigners. The 24-year-old from Winchester, who was once number five in the world in Lasers, was in a different class in the Finn. Apart from the last race when he didn't need to be at the top of the fleet, he was never out of the top ten and led overall from start to finish. As he would say, he was fast up the track and down it and most impressively, he was always able to recover, even when he had "shite starts". John Derbyshire, the RYA Olympic Manager, believes Percy is out of the top-drawer and has been impressed not only by his on-the-water racing, but by the way he has quickly mastered the technical complexities of the Finn rig. This has helped him sweep to the top of a class which normally rewards no-one who has not spent upwards of eight years slogging away at it. Much of Perky's success is due to the impact of his coach David Howlett, whose technical, tactical and irreverent approach has provided everything he needed in the way of support. Howlett believes Percy is a complete performer and - forgetting Arsenal's chances against Man Utd this weekend for a moment - admitted to being seriously impressed by him. Howlett reckons

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