Iain Percy

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameIain Bryden•Percy
Used nameIain•Percy
Born21 March 1976 in Southampton, England (GBR)
Measurements185 cm / 92 kg
AffiliationsHayling Island Sailing Club/Royal Yacht Association
NOC Great Britain
Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 3


Iain Percy learnt to sail at the age of four and was only seventeen when he made his début at the Laser Class European Championships. He campaigned in the Laser Class and finished fifth in the 1996 World championships but missed selection for the 1996 Olympic Games. A switch to the Finn Class followed and he went on to win the European Championship in 1998. Percy spent many months training and competing off Sydney in the years preceding the 2000 Olympics and it paid off handsomely when he won the Olympic title so comfortably that he did not even have to compete in the final race of the series. He swapped classes again in 2001 to the two-man Star boat but, although he and partner Steve Mitchell were world champions in 2002, they could not translate that success to the Athens Games. Percy then took a year away from Olympic class sailing to become helm of the Italian-owned America’s Cup challenger +39 Challenge, but they finished way down the list of qualifiers in the Luis Vutton Challenge Series and failed to qualify. He returned to Star class racing and a year before the Beijing Games teamed up with lifelong friend Andrew Simpson. Initial results were below par but at the 2008 Olympics they won the gold medal with their performance in the final race. They added the 2010 World Championship gold to their medal collection and remain one of the world’s top crews. The pair joined the crew of the British America’s Cup challenger, Team Origin, under the helm of Ben Ainslie, but the team announced it was abandoning its challenge for the 2013 Cup. The Percy-Simpson partnership was unbreakable and at the London 2012 Olympics they won the silver medal. It was Iain’s third Olympic medal as he became only the third Briton after Rodney Pattisson and Ben Ainslie to win three Olympic sailing medals.

After the 2012 Olympics Iain and Andrew joined the Artemis Racing America’s Cup team, but that is when the Percy-Simpson partnership was sadly brought to an abrupt end following a tragic accident whilst training in San Francisco Bay, in which Andrew Simpson drowned. The team continued, and under Iain’s guidance they reached the semi-final of the Luis Vutton Cup, only to lose to the Italian challenger.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
2000 Summer Olympics Sailing GBR Iain Percy
One Person Dinghy, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
2004 Summer Olympics Sailing GBR Iain Percy
Two Person Keelboat, Men (Olympic) Steve Mitchell 6
2008 Summer Olympics Sailing GBR Iain Percy
Two Person Keelboat, Men (Olympic) Andrew Simpson 1 Gold
2012 Summer Olympics Sailing GBR Iain Percy
Two Person Keelboat, Men (Olympic) Andrew Simpson 2 Silver