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Andrew Simpson - Sailing

Andrew Simpson - Sailing

Born December 17, 1976 in Sherborne, Dorset, England, Andrew Simpson is a world-class sailor who has recently catapulted himself into the limelight after a career of playing second fiddle to better sailors.

Not that there’s any shame in it; Simpson was behind the likes of Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy – two of the best sailors in their respective classes in the world today.

Andrew broke through the hurdle and won Olympic Gold after teaming up with his childhood friend Iain Percy. The men have known one another since they were boys. They used to sail together as children, and then resort to regular childhood antics, like building Lego robots, when the option to sail wasn’t available. Now coming back for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Andrew hopes to once again grace the highest point of the podium.

Sporting Career

Although Andrew Simpson’s career didn’t start at the age of six, the groundwork was most certainly laid at that young age. Andrews’s father used to take him sailing in Dorset, where Simpson caught the eye of UK national racing coach Jim Saltonstall. Growing up alongside Iain Percy, another extremely gifted sailor, the two boys motivated each other brilliantly – but, of course, Simpson was always in the shadows, even when Percy moved up to Finn and Andrew continued to sail Laser.

Simpson was always an extremely competitive sailor. Like a champion thoroughbred, there’s something about the competition that always drove Andrew to push a little harder and dig a little deeper each time he raced. Some speculate that after he began working as a training partner to Iain Percy for the 2000 Olympics, Simpson put his career back a few years due to the psychological bruising gained by seeing his mate excell. And while that theory may not be accurate, what is factual is that Simpson never managed to earn a spot or place while spending time as a training partner to Percy in 2000, or to Ben Ainslie in 2004.

In 2008, something that should have happened long before finally happened – Simpson and Percy teamed up for the Olympic Games in Beijing.  Their run was anything but storybook, however. After competing as a duo in Star Class in the World Championships, the pair finished in 52nd place. Only six months prior to the Olympics, few gave the duo a chance to place, much less win the gold.

Once the Olympics arrived, Andrew Simpson was in great shape and helped his team tremendously as they finally took home the gold. In 2010, Andrew would repeat as champion, winning the World Championships. As this year’s Olympic Games approach, Simpson is focused on repeating 2008’s results.

Career Highlights

  • 2003 ISAF World Championships – Bronze
  • 2007 Star World Championships – Bronze
  • 2008 Beijing Olympics – Gold
  • 2010 Star World Championships - Gold
  • 2012 Summer Olympics – Silver

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