Simpson insists he's holding back ahead of Olympic title defence
ANDREW Simpson may be one of the home favourites at the London 2012 Olympics - but he admits he and partner Iain Percy will be in the same boat as everyone else.
UPBEAT: Andrew Simpson is confident about defending his Olympic title at London 2012 (onEdition)
The 33-year-old ended eight years of Olympic hurt in Qingdao in 2008 claiming Star gold with Percy, having missed the two previous Games - with his partner taking his Finn selection in 2000 and Ben Ainslie earning selection four years later in Athens.
Simpson and Percy added the European title to their list of honours in July last year before taking their Star partnership to even greater heights at the World Championships in January.
The duo - friends since aged eight - took gold in Rio and raced together for the first time since then at last week's Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta on the London 2012 Olympic shores in Weymouth.
The world's finest descended, and will continue to descend, on the Dorset coast and with that and their own situation in mind Simpson insists competing on home waters in 2012 may not be an advantage.
"A lot of guys from across the world will have come to Weymouth to check out the conditions ahead of the London 2012 Olympics," said Simpson - who first sailed in the Star class with Percy in 2007.
"It is the same for us and we have learnt a lot of invaluable things and since we haven't raced together for a few months I think seeing everyone down in Weymouth really got us going.
"We obviously have a lot of experience, but it is the same with anything when you come back from being out of it for a little while you are always going to be rough around the edges.
"We have a lot of fine tuning to do to make sure we are where we need to be for 2012 but it is really exciting after seeing Weymouth in full flow.
"We have been trying to hold ourselves back from sailing too much because we know when we really get going it will be hard work and we don't want to burn ourselves out."
Simpson and Percy came home seventh on the London 2012 Olympic waters at the Sail for Gold Regatta - which acted as the final leg of the ISAF World Cup series.
And with winter training set to begin in earnest Simpson admitted the hard work starts now if they are to defend their Olympic title in two years' time.
"From this winter we are going to be on a really intense programme to make sure we are at the top for London 2012," he added. "We are targeting another gold medal and we will be doing all we can to make that happen.
"Anything you do in Weymouth can only set you up in good stead for London 2012 and we want to experience it as much as we can between now and then."