Ben Ainslie apologises for media boat incident
Ben Ainslie has been disqualified from the World Championships after having an argument with a nearby media boat
Ben Ainslie has apologised for his actions after confronting a media boat following the finish of race nine of the Finn at the ISAF Sailing World Championships.
The 34-year-old triple Olympic champion headed into the day’s racing having retaken the overall lead after recording finishes of a first and a second on Thursday.
However, Ainslie was the subject of much controversy a day later in Fremantle following a finish of second in the first race and ninth overall in the Finn.
Beaten by Pieter-Jan Postma, he appeared to sail up to a television boat, which he had shouted at several times during the race for impeding his progress, in the aftermath.
Ainslie confronted the crew before diving into the water and swimming over to his unmanned boat to get ready for the second race of the day, which saw him awarded a black flag disqualification.
He carried on racing after not being informed of the disqualification and before attending a protest hearing into the earlier incident on allegations of gross misconduct he issued an apology for his behaviour.
“On the final downwind leg of the race, I was hindered by a media boat, the actions of which I felt were seriously impeding my progress in the race,” said Ainslie.
“Clearly with it being a World Championship, emotions are running high and in the heat of the moment after the race I boarded the media boat to make my views known to the crew. I realise this was an inappropriate course of action and have already apologised to those concerned.”