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Larry Ellison: Tough Opponent To Beat

Published on June 25th, 2015

It is a question asked regarding the America’s Cup: Would you want to compete against the fifth wealthiest person in the world?

Larry Ellison, owner of defender Oracle Team USA, may have found the answer in his unsuccessful attempts to buy other franchises.

“I could have bought the [NBA] Warriors,” he said. “But I know for a fact that there was concern that I was a person who wanted to win all the time and that I would raise the prices for coaches and facilities and all sorts of other things and make it much more expensive for all the other teams to compete.”

While other sports leagues may not be eager to have him, with the America’s Cup Ellison is in charge, and has attracted five challengers to compete against his war chest:

– Team Japan: newly formed, not yet training
– Team France: newly formed, not yet training
– Team New Zealand: sixth Cup, new sailing team, not yet training
– Ben Ainslie Racing: newly formed, training in UK and Bermuda
– Artemis Racing: second Cup, training in USA and Bermuda

Though the 35th Match is still two years away, the defender is not waiting for the field to catch up. Oracle Team USA, now fully based at  the event venue in Bermuda, has been training on a 45-foot test catamaran – a scaled down version of the AC48 that all the teams will be sailing.

Only Artemis Racing has a similar boat, but now Ellison’s team will be launching their second boat this summer.

Oracle’s general manager Grant Simmer said the new prototype boat will be more advanced than the team’s 45ft foiler already based in Bermuda. It is expected to arrive in August and be ready to start sea trials in September.

Maybe the NBA owners were right.

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