Iain Percy

Britain's Finn star just wants to stay cool, Ed Gorman reports from Sydney
"Just keep calm - you gotta force yourself to think how you normally think. In terms of just, 'keep trying, every place counts where you are'. Don't start getting super-stressed because you're down and it's the Olympics - it's like any race. You've got to come back and get all the points you can." So says Iain Percy, summarising his philosophy on the eve of the biggest regatta in his young life. His remarks came as we sat in a little restaurant just a stone's throw from the immaculately-organised Olympic sailing venue at Rushcutter's Bay in Sydney - the setting where Percy will surely win a medal in the Finn class. The striking thing about him is that although he talks about keeping cool and being relaxed, he need hardly bother. The young British Finn ace, who won the European championships last year, is a cool customer and, one suspects, a big game player who will thrive under the unique pressures which only an Olympic regatta can bring to bear. In the week before the start of the competition Percy, like Britain's Star class helmsman Ian Walker, has been suffering with a cold which has put him out of action for five days. For some this could set-off a debilitating confidence crisis, but Percy has shrugged it off, content in the knowledge that five days lost at this stage will hardly affect a thorough-going programme which has been building-up for two years. Percy has come to Sydney to get a gold medal and he does not mind admitting it. There's nothing immodest about it - he believes he can win the gold medal and, at this stage, silver or anything else is not on the agenda. His main rival in a steadily tightening 20-strong Finn fleet is the Polish defending Olympic champion Mateusz