The Wing is King! Print E-mail

Larry Ellison’s wing-masted BMW Oracle Racing tri wins back the America’s Cup for the US

It has taken 9 court cases and 250,000 man-hours were expended building two of the most technically advanced race yachts in history. In the end, it took little more than four and a half hours of racing for Oracle software billionaire Larry Ellison, skipper James Spittall, team boss Sir Russell Coutts, tactician John Kostecki and the rest of their BMW Oracle crew to wrest the 159 year old trophy from the Swiss hands of Ernesto Bertarelli and his Alinghi crew with a 2-0 victory. 


The fight, which began in 2007 with cries of foul play and demands for a level playing field by the challengers, after Bertarelli, a 2-time Cup winner, attempted to establish a Formula 1 style commercial race series, but with rules, heavily slanted in the defender’s favour. That led to the straight fight between these two super-rich pugilists, who between them spent the equivalent of $1m a minute on these two acrimonious.











To view lightbox of victory and personality images, Click Here


The machiavellian antics of the Swiss continued right to the end. Three  members of the Swiss race committee could not agree with Harold Bennett, the independent Race Chairman to start the race because conditions did not favour their boat. Two of the three refused to take any part in starting the race, so Bennett, a crusty individual, pulled rank, and with help from a guardia official and Tom Ehman, the the BMW Oracle observer, got the race under way.


The rest, as they say, is now history!




To view a selection of key America’s Cup personalities over the past 159 years, Click Here

To view a selection from the first race in 1851, Click Here

To view the lightbox from the 1988 Cup Series Click Here

To view a selection of pics of the famous trophy, Click Here


Former Times Yachting Correspondent, Barry Pickthall, who has been covering the America’s Cup since 1979, can provide a complete story to go with the pictures if required.


For further information, contact Rowland Eno at PPL Photo Agency on +44 (0)1243 555561 or e-mail