|Iain Percy and Bart Simpson set for heated battle with Brazilians|
Robert Scheidt from Brazil has been a thorn in Britain’s side for more than 15 years and his battle with Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson in the Star class yesterday suggests their Olympic rivalry is hotter than ever.
Scheidt famously locked horns with Ben Ainslie in the Laser class for six years, but shifted his focus to the Stars where he and crew Bruno Prada have vied repeatedly with Percy and Simpson for the major class honours.
This has led to heated exchanges and in the case of the Sail for Gold regatta in June, a port starboard collision that could have been avoided.
A photo finish in the second race on Sunday following a close contest between the two meant both parties had to wait an hour before they were told the Brazilians had been awarded the win.
This came as bad news on top of a poor first race where Percy and Simpson, Beijing 2008 gold medallists, missed an important wind shift to finish way down the fleet in 11th to sit in 5th place, overall eight points behind the Brazilians.
“It came as a surprise but it’s not as if I have any burning misjustice unless it is an obvious mistake in which case it will get worked out. Coming 11th and missing 30 degree windshifts is a bigger deal,” admitted Percy.
“Our position is not that important at the moment but hopefully over the week, having good downwind and steady upwind speeds will more than pay for it.”
Scheidt and Bruno Prada did not find out the result for sure until they were back on shore.
“We did not know if we had won the race or not – we thought they had won because they were to leeward but it was hard to tell. They asked us if we had won and we had to say we thought they had won.
“It was very tiring because the wind was up and shifting a lot but the racing was quite exciting, a very high level. You really had to play the shifts. There is a long way to go but I think it will be a very tight and interesting week.”