Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie was yesterday stating his case after a 360-degree penalty that he felt was unfair, ensured he missed out on a good result on the opening day of the 2001 One Ton Cup
Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie was yesterday stating his case after a 360-degree penalty that he felt was unfair, ensured he missed out on a good result on the opening day of the 2001 One Ton Cup.
Atalanti X owner George Andreadis was celebrating after his skipper, Gavin Brady, steered the Greek member of the International Sailing Federation to victory in both the day’s races in the shifting eight to 10-knot south-westerly winds of Cardigan Bay. Ainslie helmed Babbalaas, owned by North Wales businessman David McLean, to second in the first race, but was penalised for impeding American Dawn Riley’s Faster-K-Yote I in the second.
The 360-degree penalty imposed by on-the-spot judging took Babbalaas from fourth to last place and ensured Ainslie could not put any pressure on Atalanti X. But it left the young star of British sailing protesting innocence over the incident. “We were crossing Faster-K-Yote I without any problem while we were on port tack and they were on starboard. But they made a meal of it and the judges called it badly – but that’s sailing. You have to live with things like that. We’ve been training here for four days. But today wasn’t good for us. We’re hoping it will get better. The IC 45 is a great boat and that’s always been the attraction of the One Ton Cup. Growing up sailing I’ve always heard about the One Ton Cup – a very prestigious event and I wanted to be part of it. It is only the first day of racing. And we do have a discard. So we’re still confident for the race.”
However, Riley was insistent that Faster K-Yote I would have collided with Babbalaas had she not taken evasive action. “We were going to hit and Ben would say that it wasn’t going to happen and that he shouldn’t have been penalised. I saw it differently and had to dip away from him.”
Results – Day 1
Atalanti X – GRE George Andreadis Gavin Brady
Babbalaas – GBR David McLean Ben Ainslie
Bounder – GBR Chris Little Jeremy Robinson
Hawk – GBR Nigel Bramwell Nigel Bramwell
Faster K-Yote I – GER Ortwin Kandler Dawn Riley
Faster K-Yote II – FRA Stéphane Kandler Laurent Delage