Coastal Battle: Britain’s Iain Percy and Brazil’s Bruno Prada Claim Second and Third in London Sailing Star Class
Bruno Prada (and his teammate Robert Scheidt) was already guaranteed hardware heading into the Star Class-Sailing Competition. So was his British rival, Iain Percy (and Andrew Simpson). A final showdown would crown the victor.
But the dramatic rivalry took its toll, as the head-to-head battle with the Britons ended up opening the door for Sweden’s Fredrik Look and Max Saminen to claim the win. Iain settled for a second place finish at the historic race off the coast of Weymouth, UK, while Bruno claimed third.
Having lost the title on their home waters, the GB team was outwardly devastated.
“We had to sail in ridiculous conditions at the end,” Percy said. “We’re hurting so much inside but getting those roars from the crowd is about the only thing which can put a smile back on my face. It was really sweet. They were so kind. We felt we had let everyone down. It does feel devastating right now. We got it wrong.”
And although the Brazilians also fell short, they tallied their second Summer Games podium result a duo.
“To be partners with Robert is like if I played football in the time of Pelé,” Bruno said. “It is very pleasurable sail with him, a very demanding guy. We are childhood friends, and so everything is easier.”
All three podium teams already topped the points standings. Each podium position would be determined by the tenacity of each team in this particular historical regatta.
None of the three disappointed.
Employing a massively bold strategy to ensure an optimal charge at a triumph, the Brazilians went for all or nothing.
The South Americans and the Brits were at each others’ necks out of the gates – with the two close to the middle of the line and cruising on the left side of the lane.
Unfortunately, the Brazilans’ tactics – favoring the left side – fell short as the wind went right. The Swedes capitalized and clinched the top of the podium.
All in all, it was one dramatic battle off the British coast for all three teams. Nonetheless, the pain still remains for the home team.
“It is gutting but we sailed well all week,” Iain concluded. “In hindsight, we made too many mistakes in terms of reading the wind-shift. We have to take it on the chin. There’s a big luck element. We can’t blame anyone but ourselves, but at the same time we were really proud.”