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Oracle's Larry Ellison sailing team wins America's Cup

Larry Ellison ascends to top of sailing world

By , Network World
February 16, 2010 11:46 AM ET

Network World - Larry Ellison has already accomplished more in 2010 than most people do in a lifetime. In just a few weeks, the billionaire founder of Oracle finished off a long-awaited acquisition of Sun Microsystems and this past weekend he celebrated again after winning the America's Cup, the oldest trophy in international sports.

Ellison's BMW Oracle Racing won the prestigious sailing trophy on Sunday with a victory over Alinghi, a Swiss team. Ellison not only financed the quest but was reportedly on the high-tech boat for the race, in which a U.S. team won the trophy for the first time in 18 years.

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"Valencia -- muchas gracias!" Ellison screamed after the race in Valencia, Spain, according to an Associated Press article. "I am so proud of this team, I am so proud to be part of this team, and I am especially proud to bring the America's Cup, once again, after a long absence, back to the United States of America."

Ellison has never been shy about spending millions or billions of dollars to improve Oracle -- most recently with the $7 billion acquisition of Sun -- and he approached international sailing with the same energy and financial commitment. Ellison reportedly sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into the BMW Oracle Racing team over the past decade, and was victorious with a 114-foot trimaran boat that boasts "the largest wing sail ever built."

Now that Ellison has the America's Cup in his grasp he faces what could prove to be an even bigger challenge -- ensuring the success of an Oracle/Sun merger that involves the combination of many software and hardware components and two large, savvy customer bases.

Follow Jon Brodkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jbrodkin

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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