Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie was disqualified from the day’s two races at the world championships in Perth on Saturday for “gross misconduct” after boarding a media boat and confronting the crew for impeding his progress.
The five-times world Finn champion was left in 11th place and will not feature in the medal race on Sunday.
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) said in a statement that Ainslie boarded the media boat to voice his unhappiness at the boat driver’s actions after his progress was impeded on the final downwind leg of race nine.
A jury hearing late on Saturday night found fault from both parties, but disqualified Ainslie from both of the day’s races for gross misconduct.
The 34-year-old, twice an Olympic champion in the Finn and once in the Laser dinghy, apologised for his actions.
“I over-reacted to what I thought was a situation where I felt my performance was being severely hindered,” he said.
“I’m very thankful that everyone involved has taken it how it was - as something which was blown out of proportion in terms of what actually happened. We’ve all apologized to each other and are looking forward to moving on.”
Ainslie added that he was still disappointed to be disqualified, pointing out that incidents such as this were increasing as the sport seeks to become more appealing for television.
“I’m very sorry that the jury decided to react the way they did over something which really wasn’t as big as it was blown up to be.
“Unfortunately it’s part and parcel of the sport trying to develop its area within TV and in a number of instances this week that line has been crossed and that’s something which everyone has to accept is a development.”
Ainslie will bid for a fourth successive Olympic gold medal next year in Weymouth and Portland.