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Sailing as a TV sport – the downside Ainslie's Rule 69
The demand from the IOC is that Olympic sports improve their ratings. ISAF has responded with medal races and here at Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, with a stadium course.
But television steps onto the field of play...
Yesterday, in the name of more exciting television, the ISAF contracted Sunset & Vine Broadcast TV boat twice powered down the run, following the Finn class race leader Pieter Jan Postma and putting significant wash on Ben Ainslie.
Ainslie was seen to be shouting at the driver both times and even shook his fist the second time.
Then post race, Britain's sailing superstar lost it completely. He sailed his Finn up to the video boat and stepped aboard to confront the driver and cameraman and there was, at the very least, vigorous discussion.
Ainslie is a fierce competitor and his temper is similar. His reaction to the behaviour of the ISAF contracted televison crew was very very regrettable. He should have sought redress and left it at that. He was rubbed out of the Worlds, but as we explain in our full article that might not be the end of matter.
The RYA is now in the spotlight as they have to address the matter of a suitable penalty.
Ben Ainslie of Great Britain walks thru Fishing Boat Harbour on day 8 during the Finn gold fleet race of the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships on December 10, 2011 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Perth 2011) Paul Kane
Australians Matthew Belcher and Malcolm Page became 2011 470 Mens World Champions, on Sunday afternoon at Perth 2011, showing why they are hot favourites to win Olympic Gold in Weymouth next August. Sail-World talked to them after the medal race.
The Women's Match Racing is a marathon affair. One of the best known Olympic reporters asked what was happening on the WMR course commented ‘I think they finish before Christmas.'‘
Kenyan marathon legend Kip Keino said you always have to be careful, when you think you have the measure in an event, some unknown barefoot runner might come down out of the mountains.
In the Women's 470 class that starts tomorrow there is one crew that fits into that class, with an Olympic campaign just eight weeks old.
Watch out for a pair of unknowns Elise Rechichi and Belinda Stowell - we will be following them with interest.
Olympic selection trials certainly create some tension, two New Zealand rivals JP Tobin and Tom Ashley have just protested each other in the RS:X class.
And if you look at the image above of the British sailor who early took to the water heading back to his Finn, you can see why the sharks have been scared off!!