Iain is a double Olympic champion and Team Manager / Tactician of America’s Cup challenger Artemis Racing.
He began his career sailing at Weston Sailing Club in Southampton in an Optimist dinghy. In turned professional in 1998, after completing his degree in Economics from the University of Bristol, and within two years was representing Great Britain at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where he won gold in the technical Finn class. As a result of his Gold medal, he was honoured by the Queen and received an MBE.
Iain changed classes for the Athens Olympics in 2004, racing alongside Steve Mitchell in the double-handed Star class, where he finished a disappointing 6th. In 2005 he took a break from full time Olympic Class sailing joining America’s Cup challenger +39 Challenge as helmsman.
In 2006, Iain was back on the water in his Star with his new crew Andrew Simpson, his best friend of 25 years. The pair had a promising start to their Beijing Olympic campaign coming 6th in the Olympic Test Event and Bronze in the ISAF World Championships 2007. However a string of problems hampered their 2008 build up to the Games which included coming 52nd in the Star World Championships. Where many athletes would have thrown the towel in Iain and Andrew showed true guts and determination to turn things around and get them selves to the start line at the Olympic regatta.
The Star class field was extremely competitive and included 8 Olympic medallists and 7 Star World Champions. After a disappointing start, Iain and Andrew battled hard to get back into contention and were second going into the final Medal Race. They showed true champion spirit to overhaul Fredrik Loof and Anders Ekstrom, regatta leaders from day one, and take home the Gold … a truly phenomenal performance which had the BBC commentary team in tears.
Following his success in Beijing, he turned his attention to America’s Cup Sailing as ‘Tactician’ for Team Origin, the British backed challenger, which included a World Match Racing title in 2011.
Iain teamed up again with Andrew for the 2012 Olympics winning a Silver medal, being narrowly edged out by the Swedish team in the final medal race. His third Olympic medal made him one of the most successful Olympic sailors of all time.
Following London 2012 Iain and Andrew joined up with Swedish America’s Cup Challenger of Record, Artemis Racing. In May 2013 the team suffered a tragic accident whilst training on the bay in San Francsico, where Andrew lost his life. Under extremely difficult circumstances the team rallied under, Iain’s new leadership as Skipper, making it to the start line of the Louis Vuitton Cup.It was an incredible achievement earning huge respect from the global sailing community.
Later that year Iain founded the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, to honour his close friend, which aims to grow grassroots participation in sailing and provide opportunities to deserving children.
In October 2013 he was appointed Team Manager of Artemis Racing, and is currently building a team to challenge for the 35th America’s Cup.