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Iain Percy - Sailing

Iain Percy - Sailing

Born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on March 21, 1976, Iain Bryden Percy is one of the most famous sailors in not only his native UK but also around the globe. Now 35, Percy has been one of the most majestic and fiercely competitive forces on the water for well over a decade. Since his not so humble beginnings at the Weston Sailing Club, Iain Percy has consistently ranked amongst the best sailors in the world.

Long before Percy was winning multiple Olympic Gold medals and World and European Championships, he was a mere four-year-old child when he first took to the water in a sailboat – a hobby Percy’s family hoped they would all enjoy together. These days, this yachtsman shows the full breath of his experience every time he competes, and proves that his parents made a wise decision when choosing a family activity.  

Sporting Career

Of course, while Iain started sailing with his family at four, his career wouldn’t start until later on in life. But once he decided to turn professional in 1998, the sailing world was sure of one thing: Iain Percy was a fabulous sailor; a sailor whose talents were so well defined that Great Britain allowed Percy to represent his nation via the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Although there were a slew of minor—and some major—successes between 1998 and 2000, the new millennium is where Iain Percy would make his indelible mark on the sailing world. Iain won Gold in the difficult and meticulous Finn Class, and shortly after that the Queen honored the impressive young man by appointing him a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

After dominating the Finn Class, Iain would do something a little unorthodox for the time and most certainly for the sport. He would change the game completely by switching over to the double-handed Star Class for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Racing alongside Steve Mitchell, the duo failed to place in the Games, but in 2008, after hooking up with a new partner (Andrew Simpson), the two would take home Gold in the Star Class.

Percy’s 2008 victory was not only impressive due to the class switch, but also because, according to most in the know, Iain wouldn’t be competing in Olympics again. He decided to take a break from it all in 2005, and many feared this break was permanent after the disappointment of 2004. But after failing in his new America’s Cup +39 Challenger efforts, Iain would join forces with TEAMORIGIN of Great Britain and work his way back to the Olympics.

As the 2012 Games approach, Iain Percy is highly focused on his Star Class events, even while continuing to sail with Artemis Racing.

Career Highlights

  • 2000 Sydney Olympics, Finn Class – Gold
  • 2002 Star World Championships – Gold
  • 2005 European Championships – Gold
  • 2008 Beijing Olympics, Finn Class – Gold
  • 2009 European Championships – Gold
  • 2010 Star World Championships - Gold
  • 2011,2012 World Cup – 1st
  • 2012 Summer Olympics – Silver

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