Dramatic Day in Perth After Ainslie Assault

Ben Ainslie, a multi-time Olympic gold medalist, was spotted assaulting the members of a media boat in Perth, then swimming back to his Finn. The ISAF had this to say about the incident: 

Day 8 of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships finished with high drama on the seas in the Finn class with Great Britain’s Ben Ainslie involved in a confrontation with a television boat as he crossed the line in the second last qualification race ahead of Sunday’s Medal Race.

The incident is now before the regatta Jury and we await the official outcome (21:00 local time).

Finn

To compound his problems, Ainslie was then black-flagged in the final race but sailed on with the fleet despite the disqualification.

Ainslie’s bad day started with the finish of Race 9 when he was being headed by Pieter-Jan Postma (NED).

Crossing the line second, after seemingly being hampered by the TV boat’s wake, Ainslie swung his boat into the wind and boarded a media boat. Having boarded, Ainslie was then seen to be confronting the crew before swimming back to his boat and sailing away.

Ainslie, a triple Olympic gold medallist, was behind rival Postma when the incident occurred. Ainslie said, “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.

“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.”Postma took the race win with Ainslie second and third place in Race 9 was taken by Giles Scott (GBR).

Ainslie was then black-flagged at the start of Race 10. The race was won by Rafael Trujillo (ESP) in a return to form, with Zach Railey (USA) second and Jonas Hoeg-Christensen (DEN) third.

In the final fleet rankings ahead of the gold medal race, Ainslie leads countryman Giles Scott and Dutchman Pieter-Jan Postma.

The Medal Race for the Finn class is scheduled to start at 16:10 local time on Centre Course.

Photos of the incident are available here.

H/T to Sailing Scuttlebutt for originally posting this story.

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