Who inspired you to start sailing?
My parents. They threw me out on the water in an oppie on Grafham Water at age 6, tied to a long line!
First sailing club?
Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
When did you know you wanted sailing to be a career rather than a hobby?
When I won my first National Championship at 14 I thought I might have a shot at being a good sailor.
What do you love most about sailing?
That every day on the water is different. No matter how good you are, every day you sail you can teach yourself something new.
What has sailing taught you?
How to apply myself to a career I love.
Favourite ever sailing race?
AC45 San Fran racing with Team Korea, medalling as an underdog team was a good feeling.
How do you know when you have good form?
I turn pretty un-emotional and I don’t let victories make me complacent as well as not letting defeats get me down.
How do you keep going when you're on the limit?
Think of Victory!
Olympic Gold Medallist, Rio 2016
If you weren't a sailor, what would you be?
Probably in the armed forces, something active to save me from a desk job.
If you’re lucky enough to have a goal, chase it.
What other sports do you play now?
Kitesurfing and occasionally squash.
How do you spend your time when you are not sailing?
It's normally on the water kitesurfing.
Do you support any particular charities?
The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Hopefully still involved in the Americas Cup having already won it!
It pains me to say it but David ‘Freddie’ Carr...
Giles was born in 1987 in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. After starting out in an Optimist on Grafham Water, he soon progressed to the Topper, winning the national championships, and then moving onto the Laser Radial Class. He quickly won a bronze medal at both the World and European Laser Radial Youth Championships.
Giles then moved into the Laser Standard and after a testing couple of years won the RYA Youth Championships and Trials in 2005, before going on to win gold at the ISAF World Youth Championships. Whilst studying at Southampton University, he continued his sailing in the Laser Standard, heading to the World Championships in 2007 and finishing 7th overall.
In 2006, Giles started sailing the Finn Olympic single-handed dinghy. He instantly took to the boat, and in only his first year finished 14th at the World Championships. Giles progressed up the ranks fast, winning the 2011 Finn European and World Championships, and pushing Ben Ainslie all the way in selection trials for the Team GBR spot at the London 2012 Olympics.
Giles moved into the America’s Cup circuit on board Team Korea, picking up a surprise third place at the San Francisco AC World Series event, which led to joining Luna Rossa’s Sailing Team for the 34th America’s Cup.
In the 2014 season, Giles has been head and shoulders above the rest of the Finn fleet, picking up seven consecutive regatta victories. He looked untouchable in his build-up to the Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds, and delivered with an exemplary performance to comfortably win his second Finn world title. Giles has also been nominated for ISAF World Sailor of the Year for 2014.
•2016: Olympic Gold, Rio 2016
•2014: ISAF Sailing Finn World Champion
• 2014: Rio International Sailing Regatta 2014 (Rio 2016 Test Event), gold medal
• 2014: Finn European Champion
• Over 15 gold medal wins at European and International regattas since 2008
• 2013: Runner up – Louis Vuitton Cup, Prada Luna Rossa Challenge, AC72
• 2012/13: Winner – ACWS Prada Luna Rossa Challenge, AC45
• 2012: ACWS San Francisco – Team Korea
• 2011 ISAF Sailing Finn World Champion
• Bronze medal at World and European Laser Radial Youth Championships
• 2005: Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships