BP officials scrambled Saturday to respond to another public-relations mess when their chief executive, Tony Hayward, spent the day off the coast of England watching his yacht compete in one of the world's largest races.
Two days after Hayward angered lawmakers on Capitol Hill with his refusal to provide details during testimony about the worst offshore oil spill in U.S history, and one day after BP's chairman said the chief executive would not be as involved in daily operations in the Gulf, Hayward sparked new controversy from afar.
Hayward watched his 52-foot yacht, "Bob," whip around the Isle of Wight as anger simmered back on the steamy Gulf Coast, where crude has been washing in from the still-gushing spill.
"Man, that ain't right. None of us can even go out fishing, and he's at the yacht races," said Bobby Pitre, 33, who runs a tattoo shop in the crossroads town of Larose, La. "I wish we could get a day off from the oil, too.