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Forum Index: DISCUSSION: Dock Talk:
BEN AINSLIE - FACTS FOUND
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chris.savage
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Jan 9, 2012, 4:34 PM

Post #41 of 65 (31635 views)
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The only solution is Pro boat drivers that are also Pro sailors - knowledge, respect, trust, experience.

Ben will make a great one once he retires...


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Jan 25, 2012, 8:01 AM

Post #42 of 65 (31365 views)
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The Royal Yachting Authority has reviewed the report regarding the incident which took place at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships involving British sailor Ben Ainslie from the International Jury at the event. The RYA has decided that the case might warrant further action, and have thus referred the matter to the RYA Tribunal in accordance with its established procedures for further consideration. A hearing is likely to take place in the next two months. Any additional sanctions could affect Ainslie's ability to compete in the 2012 Olympics. -- RYA website: http://tinyurl.com/RYA-011912

Article Published: January 18, 2012 10:19




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Jan 25, 2012, 8:02 AM

Post #43 of 65 (31362 views)
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From Paul Newell, Isle of Wight:
Regarding the news report in Scuttlebutt 3510, I hope that the RYA, when they have this enquiry into Ben's conduct, also haul the race organisers, the photographers and the boat skipper up before them too.

I have had my own troubling experiences with press and jury boats, and thus have every sympathy with the way Ben reacted, especially as he had already remonstrated with the offending photography boat on another earlier occasion.

My own opinion of the RYA is that it is run by a bunch of people who have risen to the height of their own incompetence and I expect them to make the wrong decision, that is to penalise Ben some more for a situation that should NEVER have arisen had the race authorities had any authority.

It seems to me that although sailors en-mass try to abide by the rules put upon them, there are a few on the water who don't think these rules apply to them and when someone challenges them the wronged party gets the blame. It happen every where else in life and I unfortunately expect this to happen here too.

The best of luck with this one Ben but I fear the politically correct brigade will, at the very least, haul you over some very hot coals.






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Jan 25, 2012, 8:03 AM

Post #44 of 65 (31359 views)
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This has been a huge wake up call for everyone. ISAF wants the media, and sailors seeking to further their professional careers want it too. The sailors are obligated (through the Sis) to cooperate with the media, but defining how close is too close is still being determined.

Interestingly, what has not been stated is whether there was evidence that the media boat sufficiently impeded Ben's effort to pass the boat ahead of him, or if Ben's place in the race would not have changed regardless of the media boat's interference. Should this matter? I think if we are judging Ben's actions, I think it matters immensely. Perhaps that is why the video has not been released.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


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Jan 25, 2012, 8:03 AM

Post #45 of 65 (31358 views)
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From Katrina Johnson:
I do not condone Ben's actions although I do have great sympathy for his frustration (story in Scuttlebutt 3511). Perhaps the RYA will take no further action considering that his penalty at the event to be enough and holding ISAF entirely responsible for the problem in the first place.

The bigger picture is, however, beware what you wish for. All the calls for better media coverage should make ISAF delighted with the situation. Remember that although there is a very small section of the sailing press that will be interested in the event and the sailing, the vast majority of the media are interested in a story and if they can't find one, then they will make one.

Winning a race is not media worthy, but scandal and sensationalism is and that is what the media wants. The sailor is no longer the most important person at an event, as paid professionals they are there as part of an entertainment industry and that is what media calls for - entertainment!

Calling for more media is a very sad day for the sport.


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Jan 25, 2012, 8:04 AM

Post #46 of 65 (31357 views)
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From John Roberson:
Concerning the comment in Scuttlebutt 3511, I was watching the race in which the Ben Ainslie incident happened. The only reason that it became the "Ainslie incident" was because Ben what the only sailor who had suffered at the hands of the TELEVISION boat, who did anything about it. I'm surprised that three of four sailors in that race didn't remonstrate with the offending boat.

There is no doubt in my mind that Ben's efforts to win the race were impeded by the errant boat.

It has been said before, but obviously needs repeating, that it was not a general media boat, because they were kept well outside the course area. It was a boat used by the television team hired by ISAF, and the particular organisation concerned had started making a nuisance of themselves right from the time they arrived in town, with the accreditation team complaining about their bad manners.

I'm reminded of the words of the late, great Tony Fairchild, when he was yachting correspondent for London's Daily Telegraph, who always referred to the television teams as "the hells angels of the media". Nothing has changed.

Watching the offending boat and camera person on that day, I can only say that he showed a total lack of creative talent. It seemed the only thing on his mind was "get as close as possible, and then closer". There were some great opportunities for some stunning footage, completely ignored.

The decision of the jury at the event prevented Ben, a professional sailor, from doing his job which is winning races. Though in their facts found they noted that there were faults on both sides, they imposed no such penalty on the camera person.



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Jan 25, 2012, 8:04 AM

Post #47 of 65 (31356 views)
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As John said, the camera person was an employee, so I'm not sure what penalties might have been imposed. Maybe employment was terminated, but unlike Ben, the camera person broke no laws.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


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Jan 31, 2012, 6:27 AM

Post #48 of 65 (31278 views)
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LIVING IN LIMBO
Ben Ainslie dangles his legs over the side of Lymington harbour, looks out beyond the bobbing boats to sea, and shakes his head at a predicament he finds himself in which, on reflection, is too ludicrous to imagine.

He has just returned from Perth where he, of all people, was disqualified from yet another world championships he was poised to win after diving off his boat and boarding a TV vessel to remonstrate with a camera crew that had repeatedly interfered with the racing.

Villified in some quarters for this uncharacteristic loss of self-control, an apologetic Ainslie still faces a Royal Yacht Association inquiry to be staged by the end of February at the latest which is likely to result with a verbal slap or fine, although within the remit of sanctions the absolute extreme is a ban that would remove his 2012 Olympic dream.

It would be incredible if it came to this and all sources suggest that final measures will be a great deal less draconian but, even so, it is an incident that has left an indelible mark on the usually unflappable, three-time Olympic champion, and one that keeps him lying awake at night.

"Look, what happened with that TV boat and that same crew had happened all year and at Perth it became the worst situation I'd ever known in all my time in sailing," he explains. "It tipped me over the edge. There's no other way of saying it. I just lost it.

"The alarm bells rang the moment I stepped on to their boat. A voice in my head said: "What the hell are you doing? You shouldn't be on this boat." That's why I was on and off in just a few seconds. Clearly something was very wrong but I accept I let myself down."

Ainslie led by eight points with just one race remaining. He had one hand on a seventh world title but this was taken away from the best sailor in the world who was told he had brought the sport of sailing into disrepute (Note: The International Jury issued Ben with non-excludable disqualifications in the final two races for gross misconduct.)

"Losing that world title really pissed me off. It was the worst moment of my career. What was equally as disappointing was the response in certain quarters. I didn't expect the character assassination. I've apologised, the TV crew have also apologised, I've lost a world title which is no small thing, so I hope that's the end of it and we can all move on.

"It's certainly been a cleansing process. When you're down you discover who gives you a good kick and who provides the hand to lift you back up. It's been a very difficult time for me. I have to go back a long way in my life to match such testing times. I'll admit I've slept better than in the past few weeks."

Is he nervous about the action, if any, still to be taken against him? "I hope everyone will consider what I've done in sailing, that I apologised and that a probable world title was taken away from me, but until the matter is officially closed it's always a worry." -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/SportsVibe-013012


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Jan 31, 2012, 6:29 AM

Post #49 of 65 (31277 views)
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When the RYA considers Ben's actions to determine if further sanctions are required, I will be curious if they give any weight to his defense of how a "probable world title was taken away" from him. Should this matter? Yes, the TV crew was too close, but is it more permissible to aggressively jump on their boat and grab the driver during a world championship than if it was a club championship? How do others feel about this?

The findings and decision of the International Jury from the incident are posted here: http://www.sailing.org/37518.php


- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


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Feb 2, 2012, 6:57 AM

Post #50 of 65 (31224 views)
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From Chip Johns:
Ben says "a probable world title was taken away from me". His actions resulted in the International Jury punishing him. The title was not "taken away" from him, he lost it. I wish I had read, "I am sorry, I am contrite, and I know I failed myself, my fellow competitors, and my sport".

The TV guys were allowed on the course, they were promoting the racing, Ben was the beneficiary of this promotion. It probably degraded the competition, but isn't this what "we" have been signed up to?

For the record, I am not a big fan of trying to make our sport more spectator friendly, I believe that our sport is a participant sport and will never be attractive as a spectator sport, so we should not ruin the game just to be a nth tier spectator sport.

But this opinion does not reduce Ben's responsibility. He acted atrociously, the RYA will make a decision, and he will have to live with that. The good news is that we will all survive to live another day and race another race, maybe even in the Olympics.


From John Alofsin, Newport RI:
My gut feeling regarding Mr. Ainslie's situation is that he has been punished enough given the circumstances. I suspect that many other 'Butt readers share my opinion. However, what would happen to a junior sailor who left his 420 during a local regatta, boarded a support boat and put his hands on the driver while berating him?

My guess is that instead of feeling sympathy for this junior, the powers that be would not only disqualify him from the remaining races, but would push hard for further sanctions to "teach him/her a lesson". We have two identical situations but we have different "gut feelings" for each.

Should the level of regatta, the experience of the sailor, the age of the sailor, and the goals of the sailor (ie, Olympics) have an impact on the penalty? I believe that we need some more specific guidance in the rules in order to avoid inequality when it comes to "unsportsmanlike conduct". What do you all think?


From Peter Rugg:
Regarding the 'Ainslie Incident', it must be the responsibility of the organizing authority to assure fair sailing. It seems to me that one critical element of consideration is the change to the SIs to not allow request for redress regarding the actions of the ISAF TV crews. Once the organizers have shed all responsibility, the competitors are forced to take action to assure that they are not hindered in their performance by the actions of others. The RYA has little stake in this affair, should support their man and encourage ISAF to take responsibility in future.


From Jay Cross:
I don't understand why Ben Ainslie has to be so apologetic. Professional athletes argue with refs all the time but not with the media because the media operate under very strict guidelines as to where they are allowed and where they aren't. If sailing is so anxious for media coverage then the organizing bodies should ensure that as the media arrives to cover the sport, athletes like Ben Ainslie are never put in the position where they feel the media is interfering with a fair competition.


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Feb 2, 2012, 6:58 AM

Post #51 of 65 (31223 views)
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I am certain this incident will lead to stronger guidelines for media placement on the course.

As for Ben apologizing, I suspect he is anxious to bolster public sympathy prior to the RYA Tribunal.

As for RYA determining if additional sanctions are required, we are reminded that their decision must withstand the judgment of the international community as both ISAF and Yachting Australia have jurisdiction too. If the decision of the RYA is not appropriate in the eyes of either ISAF or YA, they can then start their own investigation and decide on whether an additional sanction is warranted.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


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Feb 2, 2012, 6:59 AM

Post #52 of 65 (31222 views)
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From Brooks Magruder:
Here's a way to look at the Ainslie situation: If one behaves unsportsmanlike DURING a race, then punish them as a sportsman according to the event's regulations. Anything occurring BEFORE or AFTER the race should be handled as a criminal or civil issue. Assault can be a serious criminal crime - let the criminal courts decide the punishment. Otherwise where do you draw the line? Protest committees ruling on parking violations, littering, or in bedrooms...


From Rich Hayes:
The Rules under which the sailors were sailing - their contract if you like - made it clear that the ISAF press boat could do what it damn well liked. The same applies to the contract being forced on the competitors for the Olympics this year. Ashore in the UK we have legislation like the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 to restrict parties in a position of power from imposing their will on the little guy who has no negotiating leverage.

Any normal person with a working brain cell could see that these contracts are unreasonable and biased. Ashore, the lawyer's advice to his client would be "you can't accept this". Well, the competitors don't have to accept it either. If, worldwide, they refused to sail, the ISAF, RYA and IOC would have a problem and, in spite of the opinion of Rod Carr as reported in Scuttlebutt 3518, if there are no competitors, there is no competition. The problem is for the sailors to organise themselves with one voice.






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Feb 2, 2012, 10:36 AM

Post #53 of 65 (31216 views)
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From Steve Schupak:
In my opinion it is never acceptable to accost another person, no matter what level the regatta is or what the outcome “may have” been. But the ISAF World Championship is the pinnacle of our sport and viewed by a world-wide audience. To this point, competitors have to demonstrate the “standard of behavior” for the rest of us to follow.

Society dictates that there is a “line in the sand” that when you cross it you must stand up and take responsibility for that action. Abandoning ones boat to berate a competitor, volunteer, or paid professional staff, has been on previous accounts deemed as “crossing that line”. And once crossed you cannot uncross it without penalty.

In this case jury acted quickly, decisively, and compassionately in their punishment for “crossing the line” that included giving credit for the rapid and unsolicited apologies from both parties. The jury’s punishment could have been much harsher.

I truly feel sorry for Ben that this incident has #1 happened (as a regatta volunteer and racer), and #2 that it has taken on a life of its own in the media. I think we all need to take a step back and remember why we do all this, (because sailing is fun), and keep racing in perspective that lives are not at stake, (racing will not cure cancer), and there will always be another regatta.


From Rob McNeal:
To me, it has to do with the sailor themselves. I speak from a position of numerous race and protest committee's on the Hobie circuit including the 1992 Nationals. And the Hobie circuit had its share of "temper incidents". None with media boats as we wouldn't know what that was in those days. Does Ben have a history of temper or is this the first time anyone has ever seen anything like this from him?

I don't know the man but what I read (he said) seemed appropriate and contrite. IF (big IF) there is no history then it doesn't seem to make sense to penalize further. What lesson is it exactly, that we would be trying to teach him that he has not already learned? One has to ask the question- and I wanted to write here "don't we want our best sailors sailing and representing?" but then I realized- quality of the sailor has nothing to do with it at all. Instead I ask- don't we want all our eligible sailors sailing and representing?

So I choose to err on the side of keeping sailors on the water until they show me they have not earned the right to be there. This guy has a lot of regattas under his belt, presumably without previous incident. I'm sure if this is a trend then we'll see more. I hope, if it's not, that we don't see more punishment. Carry on Ben. Fair weather.

PS I kinda like a hard charger that's passionate about performance- as long as he/she keeps it appropriate. We all had to learn that line somewhere along the way didn't we?


From Rich Roberts:
As the Ben Ainslie controversy carries on, has anyone considered that the race committee was initially at fault for turning a clueless media boat loose on the race course without cautionary instructions?

Most sailors understand that power boaters seldom look back and the word "wake" is not in their vocabulary. I was once on a Congressional Cup press boat that laid its wake directly in the course of four-time winner Gavin Brady while the driver was talking on his cell phone and I was momentarily distracted taking notes. Brady protested, as he should have. He was right; we were wrong. He later withdrew the protest, but the point was made, and I thanked him for that. Later I wrote a "Guidelines for press/photo boats" that none should leave the dock without. Blame the RC at Perth. Aussies, especially, should know better.

Ainslie took it too far, but in doing so he only did what many of his peers have wanted to do and, most importantly, he presented his high profile to a problem that RCs everywhere need to address. DSQ Ainslie from the OIympics? Heck, for this service to sailing he should get another medal.


From John Riise:
Having driven or ridden on photo boats for the better part of 25 years, I can say without question that they often get closer than the racers like. It's the nature of the beast - and our job. You enjoy all the spectacular sailing photos/videos online and in magazines and calendars? You’d never see a lot of those shots if photographers didn’t get “too close for comfort.”

When I used to cover racing events on San Francisco Bay (often with my friend and fellow sailing journalist Rob Moore), it was something of a running joke that if we didn’t get flipped off or yelled at least once, we weren’t close enough. I often thought that if some of those boats were closer and could have pulled alongside, I’d have probably been punched in the nose several times.

That said, most of the time we were photographing weekend warriors, not the America’s Cup or races that could decide an Olympic medal berth. We also felt “too close” was okay for most big boats events, where an errant wake or close cross upwind in our small-profile motorboat had minimal effect on rankings, especially in San Francisco’s powerful breeze.

On the other hand, we were cognizant and extremely careful when photographing smaller boats and dinghy races, where insensitive positioning could have a far more detrimental effect. You didn’t get upwind of those guys - at least not for long - and you tried to keep your wake small and out of their way. In that sense, getting “The” shots of dinghy racing was always more difficult.

I wasn’t there for the Ben Ainslie incident, but from the photos I saw, he had every right to be pissed. That photo boat appeared to be way too close and could very well have, as he’s said, affected the outcome of that very important race.

I would hate to see more restrictions put on the positioning of photo boats. (Some of the past A-Cup arrangements have been absurdly far away from any action). It might be a good thing if more photo boat drivers were also sailors and could better appreciate how their actions could affect racers. More dialogue before or even during an event could also help.

If I was planning to cross close in front of a boat to get a good shot, I would often motion my intentions to the helmsman/skipper. If he nodded, I went. If he shook his head and motioned me away, I pulled away. These intentions could be communicated to skippers before a race so they would know beforehand that us photographers are aware and will defer to them if there’s any question.

I would also hate to see Ainslie suffer any more embarrassment and/or penalties for the ‘road rage’ he has obviously regretted and for which he has apologized numerous times. As pointed out in the last 'Butt, professional athletes argue with officials all the time. From what I can see, Ben's 'infraction' seems the nautical equivalent of a baseball player kicking dirt on the ump's shoes over a strike call. I’m frankly surprised that sailors with his level of talent, drive and pressure don’t snap more often.


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Feb 2, 2012, 10:38 AM

Post #54 of 65 (31215 views)
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From Jim Champ:
I think one also has to have a lot of sympathy for the "no win" situation the RYA enquiry committee find themselves in through no fault of their own. I think it's safe to assume that no matter what they decide they will find themselves villified, be it for "spoiling Britain's medal hopes" or "keeping the best competitor out of the games" or "one rule for the famous and one for the rest" or "they'd never have let him off if he hadn't been a Brit" or any number more. I wouldn't be in their shoes for anything.




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Feb 2, 2012, 4:11 PM

Post #55 of 65 (31206 views)
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The RYA has published a comprehensive guide to the management of misconduct for race officials. The Introduction of this guide states:

"Being asked to deal with unacceptable behaviour is one of the most difficult but important jobs in our sport. It does not happen often but the future of our sport as an inclusive family activity depends on handling these complaints well and not sidestepping them."

The incident that Ben Ainslie was involved in goes before the RYA Tribunal, which this guide describes as having "the power to impose a greater range of penalties such as suspending a competitor from competition, banning them for a set period (including life) from events within its jurisdiction and suspending their ISAF eligibility."

Conduct index: http://www.rya.org.uk/...e/Pages/Conduct.aspx

Misconduct Guide: http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/Racing/RacingInformation/Best%20practices%20and%20guidance/RYA%20Guidance%20-%20For%20Race%20Officials%20on%20Dealing%20with%20Misconduct%20-%2001%2011.pdf

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


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Feb 3, 2012, 2:42 AM

Post #56 of 65 (31174 views)
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I am dismayed that Mr. Ainsle aspires to become an Olympic champion in the Finn class and yet has failed to show the dignity of previous Olympic legends such as Paul Elvstrom and Lawrence Lemieux. I am inclined to channel Tom Hanks in the film A League of Their Own and shout, "There is no crying in Olympic Sailing!"

What he did is wrong. What the photo boat did is wrong. Two wrongs do not make a right. How much more dignified would his actions have been if he had suffered in silence on the water and then, in view of his good sportsmanship, a race official such as the PRO, had acted under RRS 60.2.b on his behalf and requested redress "for a boat" based on a Rule 69 violation by the photo boat? That would have given the jury the opportunity to right the wrong caused by the photo boat by granting redress without Mr. Ainslie having to dishonor himself.

I can testify that when I was PRO for the 2009 Championship of Champions, we did not have any such problems. The competitors acted like champions. The officials acted like champions. Most of those involved stated the it was the best regatta they had ever participated in and with their resumes that is really saying something! The person who felt the worst, but who proved his good character, was on my pin boat driver. Against prior instructions to wait for radio confirmation, he hailed a boat over early that had made a clean start thinking it was over early. The boat returned and re-started. My pin boat driver got on the radio and pleaded with me to abandon the race, which we promptly did.

Race officials are not allowed to affect the outcome of the race, so we did a do-over. Everyone took it in stride, except my poor pin boat driver, who still regretted his mistake, a mistake quickly forgotten by everyone else.


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Feb 5, 2012, 9:56 AM

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By Henry Winter
8:41AM GMT 03 Feb 2012
Ben Ainslie, Great Britain’s greatest sportsman over the past 15 years, has undergone successful back surgery and is now stepping up his rehab at Bisham Abbey as he pursues a fourth Olympic gold.

Ainslie’s presence sailing off Weymouth in the Finn class would have been in serious doubt without the operation, but he now feels physically sharper and ready for the Games thanks to the procedure carried out last month at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol by consultant neurosurgeon Richard Nelson.

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...on-on-his-spine.html


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Feb 13, 2012, 4:29 PM

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AINSLIE AVOIDS DISCIPLINE FROM GREAT BRITAIN
Triple Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie (GBR) was given the green light by his country on Friday to compete at the 2012 London Games when he escaped further punishment for confronting a TV crew at the world championships last year.

The five-times world Finn champion was disqualified from the Perth competition for "gross misconduct" in December after boarding a media boat and remonstrating with the crew for impeding his progress.

Ainslie was quoted by British media as saying he feared the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) might impose a further penalty that could thwart his Olympic hopes. British sailing's governing body decided, however, that the original sanction was sufficient.

"It would not be appropriate for the tribunal to impose a penalty over and above that imposed by the international jury at the event," the RYA said in a statement.

"I welcome the RYA Tribunal's decision and am looking forward to fully focussing on my Olympic preparations," said Ainslie. "I deeply regret the incident, but would like to thank all the governing bodies involved for their thorough investigation."

Ainslie, 35, is Britain's most successful Olympic sailor with three gold medals and one Silver. If he were to medal at the 2012 Games, Ainslie would join Torben Grael (BRA) as holding the most sailing medals with five. If Ainslie were to win, he would equal that of Paul Elvstrom (DEN) who won four consecutive Olympics.

In short, Ainsle would become the greatest sailing Olympian ever.

Source:
Reuters: http://tinyurl.com/Reuters-0212
RYA: http://tinyurl.com/RYA-0212


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Feb 13, 2012, 4:29 PM

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ONE DOWN, TWO TO GO
Following the incident at the 2011 Finn World Championship in Australia, a report was to be sent per RRS 69.1(b)(2)(c) to the national authority of the competitor, the venue (Australia), and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). The decision by the RYA closes the report for Great Britain, but no official statement has yet been released on the reports held by Yachting Australia or ISAF.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


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Feb 14, 2012, 3:19 PM

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It is now my understanding that YA has decided not to impose additional penalties beyond those of RYA and ISAF. So that just leaves ISAF to provide closure for this incident. The ISAF Executive Committee is currently meeting in Qatar and will be discussing the report of the RYA Tribunal that ISAF received on Friday. Their decision could come as early as this week.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


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Feb 15, 2012, 4:21 PM

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Yachting Australia statement regarding Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championship incident
Craig Heydon, Thursday, 16 February 2012

Yachting Australia agrees any action on the Ben Ainslie incident that occurred at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships is a matter for ISAF.

On 10 December 2011 Yachting Australia received a report from the Chairman of the International Jury at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. This report was provided under RRS 69.1(c) and related to an incident involving Ben Ainslie (GBR) at the event.

The matter was reported to the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), as the competitors’ Member National Authority (MNA), ISAF and Yachting Australia, as the MNA in whose jurisdiction the event was held.

Yachting Australia has considered the matter. It is the view of Yachting Australia that, given the incident occurred at an ISAF event and that the matter has been formally reported to ISAF, any further penalty should now be considered and determined by ISAF.

"Yachting Australia does not consider that this a matter for us to deal with," explained Phil Jones, Yachting Australia CEO. "This was an international event that happens to have been held in Australia and involved a competitor from another country. Whilst under the Racing Rules of Sailing we have the authority to investigate and conduct a hearing, it would clearly inappropriate."

Accordingly Yachting Australia will not be taking any further action in relation to the matter.





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Mar 3, 2012, 7:25 AM

Post #62 of 65 (30035 views)
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TWO DOWN, ONE TO GO
When Triple Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie (GBR) was disqualified from the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championship for "gross misconduct" in December, it began a very public process of what occurs from a Rule 69 infraction.

Following the incident, a report was sent per RRS 69.1(b)(2)(c) to the national authority of the competitor (Great Britain), the host country of the event (Australia), and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). Three months later, the process continues, and it remains uncertain whether Ainslie will be cleared to compete in the 2012 Olympics.

On February 10th, Great Britain announced they would not impose any additional penalty. Less than a week later, Australia took a similar position, stating that any further penalty should now be considered and determined by ISAF. And that is now where the case still sits.

The ISAF Executive Committee began their review of the report during a mid February meeting in Qatar, and according to a statement on March 2, "ISAF is still considering the reports and once Ben Ainslie has been informed of the outcome then a statement will be made."

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


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Mar 18, 2012, 12:55 PM

Post #63 of 65 (29563 views)
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NO FURTHER SANCTIONS
British 4-time Olympic medalist Ben Ainslie has officially been cleared to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games. On March 16th, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) announced they would not impose further sanctions on Ainslie stemming from an incident that occurred at the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

Ainslie had been disqualified from two races in the Finn event after a confrontation with a media boat cameraman on December 10th. Following the incident, a report was sent per RRS 69.1(b)(2)(c) to the national authority of the competitor (Great Britain), the host country of the event (Australia), and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).

Any one of these three bodies could have suspended Ainslie's eligibility to compete in events leading up to, and including, the Olympic Games.

On February 10th, Great Britain announced they would not impose any additional penalty. Less than a week later, Australia took a similar position, stating that any further penalty should now be considered and determined by ISAF. Here is the announcement that was provided by ISAF...
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The ISAF Executive Committee has met to consider the reports from the International Jury of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships and the RYA Tribunal. The role of ISAF under Racing Rule of Sailing 69.2(a) is to first determine whether or not it is appropriate to conduct a further hearing into the reports received.

The Executive Committee has reviewed the decisions of the International Jury and the RYA Tribunal, the video evidence of the incident, other relevant documentation from Perth and has taken legal advice. Mr Ainslie was asked to comment and did so.

The Executive Committee supports the decision and the report of the International Jury and the report of the RYA Tribunal that found that Mr Ainslie committed Gross Misconduct and believes that the penalties imposed to date are appropriate. Accordingly, ISAF does not regard it as appropriate to conduct a further hearing into the incident and no further action will therefore be taken.

The issue of Media Boats is a separate matter from the decision issued today. The ISAF Media policies were clear and the issue of adherence will be considered separately.
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Ainslie is Britain's most successful Olympic sailor with three gold medals and one Silver. If he were to medal at the 2012 Games, Ainslie would join Torben Grael (BRA) as holding the most sailing medals with five. If Ben were to win, he would equal that of Paul Elvstrom (DEN) who won four consecutive Olympics. In short, Ben would become the greatest sailing Olympian ever.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


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Mar 20, 2012, 8:34 AM

Post #64 of 65 (29363 views)
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From Peter Norton:
Maybe this is a reflection of my age, but I take serious offense to the claim (in Scuttlebutt 3550) that if Ben Ainslie were to win at the 2012 Games, his medal collection would make him the greatest Olympian ever. Being successful in the Olympics is not just about winning. It is more than that.

The Olympic creed states: "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

Unfortunately, everything now must be measured by success, and the manner in how success is achieved has been minimized. Ben's actions in Perth were not an isolated incident. There have been prior incidents of poor behavior. The irony in this incident is the media ISAF is so aggressively courting nabbed one of its own stars.

It would be sad to think that, if Ben were to win his fifth medal this summer, this feat would surpass the body of work put forth by Paul Elvstrom. The Great Dane deserves better.


markjacknow
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Dec 23, 2012, 9:59 PM

Post #65 of 65 (15151 views)
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As John said, the camera person was an employee, so I'm not sure what penalties might have been imposed. Maybe employment was terminated, but unlike Ben, the camera person broke no laws?







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