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BP CEO Tony Hayward attends glitzy yacht race; Gulf residents infuriated

BP CEO Tony Hayward spent part of his Saturday at a yacht race in England while some in U.S. have seen their livelihoods ruined by the massive two-month oil spill.

BP CEO Tony Hayward attended a yacht race in England Saturday. The race pits famous yachtsmen against wealthy amateurs in the 50-nautical mile course around the Isle of Wright. This image is a file photo of a yacht.

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Just when it seemed Gulf residents couldn't get any more outraged about the massive oil spill fouling their coastline, word came Saturday that BP's CEO was taking time off to attend a glitzy yacht race in England.

Tony Hayward's latest public relations gaffe didn't sit well with people in the U.S. who have seen their livelihoods ruined by the massive two-month oil 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 Larose, La. "I wish we could get a day off from the oil, too."

As social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook lit up with anger, BP spokespeople rushed to defend Hayward, who has drawn withering criticism as the public face of his company's halting efforts to stop the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

BP spokesman Robert Wine said it's the first break Hayward has had since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded April 20, killing 11 workers and setting off the undersea gusher.

"He's spending a few hours with his family at a weekend," Wine said Saturday. "I'm sure that everyone would understand that."

Not Mike Strohmeyer, who owns the Lighthouse Lodge in Venice, on Louisiana's southern tip, who said Hayward was "just numb."

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