Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson take gold at the French Olympic regatta


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The Independent Online

Tough conditions, and recovering from a broken mast the day before, saw reigning Star class Olympic champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson take gold at the French Olympic week regatta in Hyeres.

“Iain did a great job and after we managed to get into the lead we sailed pretty conservatively,” said Simpson.

The pair moves on to the class world championship, starting at the same venue next weekend, and has already been selected for the Olympic regatta starting in Weymouth at the end of July.

In the three paralympic classes Britain took a gold and two silvers, John Robertson, Hannah Stodel, and Steve Thomas winning the Sonar class. Both Helena Lucas, in the 2.4mR, and the SKUD duo of Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell took silver.

Sailing parallel to the coast of north-east Brazil, Kenny Read at the helm of the America-flagged Puma was maintaining a 15-mile lead over the New Zealand-managed Spanish boat Camper on the sixth leg of the Volvo round the world race from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami.

Overall leader, Telefonica, also of Spain, was closing in third with the Ian Walker-skippered Abu Dhabi in fourth and France’s Groupama in fifth. The Chinese entry Sanya has been shipped to Savannah for repairs.