Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT /


Iain Percy returns to Star racing

Human Interest - Author: Rachele Vitello - March 27, 2018

Bacardi Cup 2018 saw 76 boats on the start line, among them a Star Gold medal who hasn’t been on a Star event for quite some time, since the London Olympics where he finished second with his crew, who was more than just a crew to him, Bart was like a brother to Iain and part of the reason he hasn’t raced a Star since the Olympics in 2012 is due to Bart’s loss the year after during America’s Cup training in the San Francisco Bay.


“It’s been amazing experience being back racing the Star, obviously I have mixed emotions I haven’t raced it since the Olympics, since 2012, since losing my best friend to a horrible accident: since then a lot of things have changed in my life, and I always knew it would have been an emotional return, it’s really nice doing it with Anders who’s always been a good friend to me and Bart when we were racing against each other, so he’s made it a bit easier. Then when you are out there the competition makes you concentrate on the race and you try to win - which we have been failing to do..


Bacardi represents my first time racing a Star in 2002, and it’s always a beautiful event to attend, the yacht clubs make a great job here with the Winter Series and then the Bacardi Cup. I came here with my three old boats and some great friends and we’re having a good time.


I am doing a little bit of sailing in 2018. The RC44 class and few other big boat regattas, but mostly focusing on the design side with Artemis technology company with which we are developing a few very technical boats, foiling and performing, control systems, so I am mainly doing that, but sailing is still a big part of my life and I’ll be back on the Star again towards the end of the year.


The Star epitomizes everything that is good in sailing, it hits all the aspects of the sport that I personally like about sailing: it’s a hard boat to sail, you have to be fit and strong, you have to work hard, but it’s way more than that, the technique of the steering is huge like in the Finn but the tactics of the racing is so close because anyone can win the race - we’ve seen many newcomers winning the Worlds at the first attempt because it’s a boat so complicated that gets in your brain and pulls you in, so when you come in new you are free from this. We’ve seen it with Paul Goodison winning the SSL Finals with Frithjof this year, this is a true leveling boat, it’s the one boat where the stars can come together. It’s a boat that you can sail your for your life.


I think my favorite sailing moment is definitely winning Gold at the Olympics with Bart, it was my second Gold but then first time you win it you almost don’t realize it, you live in a bubble, and winning with a friend is different, you get a great bear hug from your best mate and the emotions come much stronger, in crossing that line with him after a very close battle with Robert and Bruno, Freddy and Anders it was fantastic!”


Iain’s return to Star racing ended up with a win in the last race, after he shred some rust off. We are looking forward to see more of Iain on the racecourse, the Juniors and all of us need examples like you to follow.