Star Sailor Ainslie Faces No Further Discipline in Photog Run-in
Byline: Associated Press/Bernie Wilson
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Star British sailor Ben Ainslie won’t face further punishment for losing his temper with a television cameraman at the world championships in December, keeping alive his pursuit of a fourth straight Olympic Gold medal.
The International Sailing Federation’s executive committee announced March 16 that the penalties imposed on Ainslie in December were appropriate.
Further discipline could have cost Ainslie, 35, the chance to sail in the London Olympics. If he wins the gold in the Finn class, he’ll become the most successful sailor in Olympic history. He also has a Silver medal from the 1996 Olympics.
In December, Ainslie was disqualified from two races at the World Championships in Australia after grappling with a cameraman on a media boat.
Ainslie was found guilty of gross misconduct by ISAF at a hearing. Being disqualified from two fleet races cost him the chance to win a medal in the Finn class, which he was leading at the time.
After finishing second in the ninth race, Ainslie jumped from his dinghy and confronted the cameraman aboard the boat after being angered by the vessel getting too close to the race and creating a wash that he felt helped one of his rivals.
He argued with the skipper of the boat, grabbed the cameraman, then dived back into the water and swam back to his dinghy.
Ainslie later apologized.
“It’s not something I’m used to doing or a situation I’ve ever been in before,” Ainslie recently told the Associated Press. “It was just a very unfortunate situation, and hopefully we can all learn from that and move on.”