Ainslie protest rejected by jury

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The Independent Online

Ben Ainslie protested but a supervising jury refused to help him when he lost an important race going into the knockout stages of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series today.

The skipper of Britain's America's Cup challenger, Team Origin, was convinced he had wrongly been recalled for a premature start against the Italian team Damiani. He even had photographs which he thought proved it.

But his complaint was thrown out on procedural grounds and that means the British boat will have to sail an extra race, against France's K-Challenge, to ensure it can then race Damiani again for a place in the semi-final to find the competitor to Switzerland's Alinghi.

The America's Cup holder already has a place in the challenger final, the winner of which meets Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton final at the weekend.

In Qingdao, the overall leader Ericsson 4, skippered by Torben Grael, won the first of what was hoped to be two delayed inshore races for the Volvo round the world race trophy.

With less than 1,000 miles to the finish of the Vendée Globe solo round the world race in les Sables d'Olonne, Marc Guillemot reported he had lost his keel with less than a 100-mile lead over Britain's Sam Davies. Her 60-foot pink Roxy must give him 50 hours of compensation and Guillemot, who had taken on six tonnes of sea water ballast, said he was determined to finish.

Brian Thompson is fifth, Dee Caffari sixth, and Steve White eighth.