Ben Ainslie faces no further punishment for media boat incident

Ben Ainslie will face no further punishment for an incident in which he boarded a media boat to confront the crew at December's World Championships.

Ainslie finished second in race nine at Perth but felt impeded by the media boat on the downwind leg.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) took the decision after investigating.

Ainslie said: "I deeply regret the incident but would like to thank all the governing bodies involved for their thorough investigation."

After the Finn race ended, the 34-year-old swam over to the offending boat and hauled himself on board to remonstrate with the crew.

It led to his subsequent disqualification from races nine and 10 as a result, which meant he could no longer win a medal.

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  • Great Britain won six sailing medals at the Beijing Olympics (four golds, a silver and a bronze)

The RYA's decision banished worries that Ainslie's bid for a fourth Olympic gold medal in Weymouth this summer might be affected.

A statement read: "The tribunal agreed with the decision of the International Jury that the behaviour of Mr Ben Ainslie amounted to a gross breach of good manners and conduct that brought the sport into disrepute.

"Having considered all the evidence put before it, the tribunal was satisfied that it would not be appropriate to impose a penalty over and above that imposed by the International Jury at the event.

"In reaching its decision, the tribunal acknowledged that the effect of the penalty imposed by the International Jury was to deny Mr Ainslie the possibility of taking part in the medal race for the event."

In their statement, the RYA also suggested there should be more stringent control of media boats.

It continued: "The tribunal also recognised that there was an apparent lack of active management of media boats at this and previous events, leading to repeated infringements of the provisions of the event media boat guidelines.

"In addition, formal rights of redress against official boats were not available to competitors."

Ainslie added: "I welcome the RYA tribunal's decision and am looking forward to fully focusing on my Olympic preparations."