Star class! Percy and Simpson sail home with GB's 17th gold

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The Independent Online

Britain grabbed its fourth sailing gold medal and a record-breaking sixth in total when Iain Percy and Andrew 'Bart' Simpson conquered some rough conditions in the Star two-man keelboat class.

They went into the double points medal shoot-out lying second by just two points, or one place, to Sweden's Freddy Loof and Anders Ekstrom but a fifth place in a nail-biting finale was enough to secure the top spot as the Swedes slumped to last place on the day.

This also allowed Brazil's Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada to take the silver medal. Although equal on pioints, the tie-breaker was the order of finish in the last race.

Percy won gold in the Finn singlehander in 2000 in Sydney and is a former world champion in the Star class. But he struggled in Athens, finishing sixth, and then changed crew to bring in Simpson, a long-time rival in the Finn and long-time collaborator when the pair sailed for Italy's +39 team in the America's Cup in Valencia last year.

That completed the sailing schedule on time with Britain as the top medal-scoring nation and establishing a powerful platform looking forward to the 2012 Games in the home waters of Weymouth and Portland.

Listen to Olympic competition manager Qu Chun tell Stuart Alexander of a big future for sailing in China