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America’s Cup: Juggling priorities for Larry Ellison

Published on September 24th, 2013

San Francisco, CA (September 24, 2013) – The 34th America’s Cup was supposed to be done by now. It was to begin on September 7, and end no later than September 23. Given the history of one-sided matches, most figured it would have been over a week ago.

But with the 2 point penalty assigned to defender Oracle Team USA, and their amazing comeback to even the series, the “first to 9 wins” schedule has gone long. The 17 race series has become a 19 race series, turning the 34th America’s Cup into the longest in the event’s history.

This extension has created complications. Accommodations used by people at the America’s Cup are now needed for the annual Oracle conference, as 60,000 conference attendees have moved into the City. And defense team owner Larry Ellison finds himself juggling too. Here is a report from the Wall Street Journal

The Oracle CEO was slated to give a keynote speech Tuesday afternoon at Oracle OpenWorld, the business-software company’s annual gathering for people who love gabbing about databases and computer server racks. But just before Ellison was set to hit the stage, conference officials announced Ellison was out keeping tabs on the Oracle Team USA sailing team.

OpenWorld attendees, some of whom had waited up to an hour in line to hear from Ellison in person, started streaming out of San Francisco’s Moscone Center when one of Ellison’s lieutenants stepped in to deliver news of Oracle’s new cloud computing offerings.

A spokeswoman for Oracle declined to comment.

It was an odd piece of timing for Oracle’s annual customer conference to coincide with the final rounds of the America’s Cup tournament. Sailing talk has been sprinkled throughout the first three days of OpenWorld. On Sunday, Ellison gave an opening-night speech during which he shouted an “awesome job, guys!” to Oracle Team USA for victories that day. On Monday, an aide interrupted a press conference to tell Oracle President Mark Hurd the sailing team had won its race.

A winner-take-all America’s Cup final race is scheduled for Wednesday. Ellison isn’t on the conference schedule that day.

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