Ben Ainslie har väl haft en image som “good guy”, men i dag hade han ingen bra dag på VM i Perth. Först hoppade han ombord på fotobåten och attackerade föraren, sedan fullföljde han ett race trots disk. Så två diskar idag gör att han inte kan ta medalj.
Han hade säkert rätt att vara irriterad, men visst luktar det lite regel 69?
Det skulle vara dålig timing med en avstängning just nu, när han skall kröna sin karrär med ytterligare ett guld på hemmaplan.
Frågan är om juryn vågar ta i med hårhandskarna då det skulle vara en PR-katastrof för segelsporten.
British super star Ben Ainslie was involved in a sensational finish confrontation with a television boat today as he crossed the line in the second last qualification race for tomorrow’s medal race. To compound his problems, he was then promptly black-flagged in the final race 10 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 almost being swamped by the TV boat’s wake, Ainslie swung his boat into the wind, jumped into the water and swam over to the offending boat. Having hauled himself on board, Ainslie was seen to be angrily confronting the crew before swimming back to his un-manned boat and sailing off.
Ainslie, a triple Olympic gold medallist, was behind rival Postma as the Dutchman rode the wake of the television boat just ahead of crossing the finish line. As Postma kept momentum toward the line, Ainslie was left floundering and almost swamped in the wake’s turbulence.
The drama played out in front of spectators close by in the grandstand, who watched in astonishment as the British sailor abandoned his boat immediately after crossing the line to make his protest. With Postma first and Ainslie second, third place in Race 9 was taken by Giles Scott (GBR).
Problems for Ainslie continued into the 10th and final race when he was black-flagged at the start. The British sailor continued to sail despite the disqualification. The race was won by Rafael Trujillo (ESP) in a return to form, with Zach Railey (USA) second and Jonas Hoeg-Christensen (DEN) third.