The gold standard

MBY talks to Britain's reigning gold medallists as they team up with Clarks

When MBY caught up with reigning gold medallists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson in Palma this year, we knew they’d be hard at work preparing to defend their title at this summer’s Olympic Games in the much-anticipated Star Class event. What was surprising was the onus they put on the kit boaters use on the water.

Win a pair of Clarks sailing shoes

“Footwear is fundamentally important on the water. Whether you’re on a 60-foot cruiser or an Olympic sailing dinghy, every boater wants to feel comfortable and safe on deck,” explains Iain.

The duo have teamed up with Clarks Sport to develop a line of innovative boat shoes that deliver unparalleled performance and style for men and women. “We’ve been working with Clarks for two years on this line and what’s been amazing is their attention to detail,” Iain adds.

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“We would go out for weeks on the water and come back with a list of things we wanted to tweak and Clarks would set to it, reworking even the smallest point. They have analysed the way boaters use their footwear to deliver a technical and good-looking range that really works for sailors.”

With 185 years of experience, the iconic British shoemaker has delivered the current Olympic champions a highly technical bespoke sailing boot and incorporated the new tried and tested technologies into its line of deck shoes. “It’s great that everyone will get to benefit from these new technologies,” says Andrew.

Last year’s sell-out Orson Lace deck shoe has a super-traction Rock rubber sipped sole for excellent grip and an Atsu massage footbed – perfect for long cruises, challenging crewing or exploring a new port-of-call. The aquaDX drainage system has also been incorporated across the range and uses channels in the heel to help expel water from the shoe, keeping you lighter on your feet.

“With slippery decks it’s crucial to feel secure on board so Andrew and I asked the designers to focus on grip and comfort. We’ve tested the new features on lots of different boats and in some of the most challenging racing environments in the world and the new technologies work incredibly well,” adds Iain.

The new colour palette for Orson Lace includes classic tan, brown, white and a patriotic red, white and blue version, allowing owners to tailor their deck shoe to their own taste. With a focus on style, Orson Lace looks great on or off the yacht and is perfect for moving seamlessly from a tough day’s crewing to a stylish waterside lunch or dinner in port. New to the collection is the quick-dry trainer, the Outdrive Drift, and the women’s Jetsam Drift, which offer first-rate grip, drainage and style for action-packed days on the water.

With motorboaters around the UK gearing up for one of the most exciting summers on the water, this collaboration is sure to give a class-winning performance for all to enjoy.

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