OLYMPICS UPDATE: Percy in pole to be a gold medal Star

Defending champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson extended their advantage at the top of the Star leaderboard with another clinical performance on day five of the Olympic Regatta at Weymouth and Portland today (Thursday 2 August).

Percy, from Emsworth, and Simpson overcame iffy starts in both races to add impressive first and second places to the overall scoreboard.

Those results moved them nine points ahead of Brazilian rivals, Robert Scheidt Bruno Prada, with just two races of their opening series to come on Friday before Sunday’s medal race showdown.

Simpson said: “It’s a big game isn’t it this one? So far so good. Four years ago we didn’t quite feel that things were quite going our way and we weren’t sailing very well, we had to fight our way back.

“We’re sailing well so we just have to get through Friday and the medal race is all on. We’ve just to take the next race, you can’t take anything for granted; the ninth race then the 10th race and just get on with it.”

In strong tidal conditions and heavy waves, the Beijing 2008 gold-medal winning Brits endured a difficult start in the opening race of the day – race seven overall – but recovered well up the first beat to round the first mark in third and then ticking off the places before taking and retaining the over the finish line.

Again Percy and Simpson were slow out of the blocks in race two but in a repeat of race one battled through the fleet to round mark one in fourth then overhauling Michael Hestbaek and Claus Olesen (DEN) in the race to the line to take second.

Simpson added: “We’ve got the same medallists as last time all fighting at the front. It’s pretty tough racing, pretty intense and if you make mistakes you get punished so just got to keep chipping away. We’re trying our best obviously. The Swedish are in it as well, they are level points with the Brazilians, and we got a tiny little cushion. It’s not much in this game; you make one mistake and you’ve lost that cushion so you have just got to do the basics and just get on with it.”

The Olympic Sailing Regatta runs until Saturday, August 11. The Star medal race is scheduled for this Sunday (1pm).

Follow the British Sailing Team at London 2012 at www.rya.org.uk/london2012