Posts Tagged ‘larry ellison’
There’s a huge weight off our shoulders this week, because we’ve finally reached inner peace about the America’s Cup. Our realization has urged us to share the following note. Title inspiration from the Specials.
Dear Larry and Ernesto:
We wanted you to know that we are genuinely sorry about the way we’ve treated both of you. At the times we criticized both of you for your illogical, backwards, seemingly insane decisions about America’s Cup issues, we failed to understand just how poisonous the Cup is. Worse yet, we failed to realize that we’d been infected, too.
We’ve compared the past two holders of the Cup as infected by ownership of the Cup just as Lord of the Ring’s Gollum was infected by ‘The Precious,’ and little did we know that its effect extends far beyond physical contact. That same force – let’s call it Dyscuptopia - that caused otherwise wildly successful entrepreneur/sailors to so perfectly fail in their grandiose goals actually led us to believe that the America’s Cup had some sort of duty to the wider sport in the USA. When we chased the first wing-sailed Cup boat in history all over San Diego, when we broadcast live talk shows from the BMR Oracle compound in Valencia, and when we snuck onstage to hold the Cup after it was wrestled away from Bertarelli’s willd plans, we became invested. And more importantly, infected.
Sure, Larry, your and Russell’s very vocal plans to revolutionize the public face of sailing while bringing in millions in revenue helped lead us down this primrose path, where we walked along with sponsorship directors, the governments of several municipalities and various nongovernmental organizations. But we’re Sailing Anarchy – the site that prides itself on brutal honesty, run by a couple of the most jaded, cynical bastards anyhere. We should have known better.
Instead, we got mad, and until the other day, we stayed that way. Mad when the USA got rapidly washed out of the US Team. Mad when poor recruiting snowballed into a failed media push. Mad at the secrecy and opacity rife in the event, magnified by the continuing silence more than a year since Bart’s death. And mostly, mad at the incredible wealth spent on the San Francisco Cup while almost nothing went to the marketing, sustainability or infrastructure of the sport that makes it all possible; a wasted opportunity in a nation that’s lost three quarters of its sailing population over the past 30 years.
When Bernie Wilson broke the Bermuda venue story last week, we started to write a typically scathing editorial and planned a trip to the December 2nd Press Conference. We’d put Russell’s feet to the fire in front of hundreds of journalists, we would! And then we thought about it for a second, and wondered why we gave even the tiniest shit. And that’s when we knew it wasn’t a logical reaction, rather, it was the dreaded Dyscuptopia, which we’ll define as ‘the unshakeable conviction that the afflicted can and must use the America’s Cup for some incredibly grand purpose.’
When the fog cleared, we realized that Larry doesn’t owe anyone a goddamned thing. It’s his Cup, it’s his regatta, and if his top employee wants to make a sustainable America’s Cup in Bermuda, more power to him. And to be perfectly frank, it shouldn’t be that fucking hard, as long as everyone cuts their expectations by about 90%. The Extreme Sailing Series and World Match Race Tour have proved that a combination of venue fees and hospitality/b-to-b sponsorship can fund solid racing series. All you have to do is make the boats cheap enough and have sponsorship hunters that are slick enough, and repeat as needed.
So with a final sigh, we shrug off our Dyscuptopia, and close the chapter on our criticism and legal analysis of the commercialization, litigation, and Russel-ization of the Oracle America’s Cups. We will certainly not hide from reporting on the inevitable screwups, boondoggles, or the public’s continued loss of interest, but our anger is gone, and we’ve accepted that the America’s Cup will never be what it could be.
And we’ll be on Bermuda’s beautiful Great Sound to watch some catamaran racing – all thanks to Larry and Russell. And we’ll be watching tomorrow’s press conference from the warmth of South Beach.
December 1st, 2014 by admin
It’s not like Larry Ellison’s job as CEO of Oracle Software has had a negative impact on his quality of life over the past decade, but as of yesterday, the ultra-fit 70 year old and world’s highest-paid executive is going to have a bunch more free time to engage in his hobbies: Basketball, tennis, motorboats, yacht racing, botox, marriages, and of course crushing his enemies, seeing them driven before him, and hearing the lamentation of their women… Ellison leaves longtime executives Safra Catz and Mark Hurd as co-CEOs, while Larry will stay on top of things as Chief Technology Officer.
Big thanks to the 80s for the extremely appropriate title.
September 19th, 2014 by admin
One of the world’s legendary Maxi racers sat in a climate-controlled shed on the Eastern Shore of Lake Michigan for a decade at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars per year, while rumors said she was broken or delaminating, or that maybe she could never again be competitive against newer boats. We think Larry just a little sentimental about the boat he nearly died on, and he’d rather have her as a trophy than let someone else make new memories on Sayonara.
And that’s what you see here – the bow and stern of Sayonara waiting for a lift on Pier 80 after a date with a chainsaw; the final remaining signs that there was an America’s Cup in San Francisco. There’s no sailing center or junior racing center; no museum or clever, multi-use development. In fact, despite all the pre-event posturing, there’s very little legacy for ‘the Summer of Sailing’ at all on the ground in SF; just a few rusty boxes and a famous yacht sliced up like an 8-point deer, ready to go on some wall or building or corporate campus. It can’t be any more cliché, but we’re left no choice but to say it: Sayonara!
Here’s the cover story about Larry’s infamous Hobart from something called BusinessWeek, apparently a magazine in the 20th century. Like Sayonara, something obsolete; a collection of stories and advertisements bound together in paper. Imagine that!
Title song from the same era as the boat, and a bit creepy, like its owner. Interesting photo thanks to SA’er ‘L124C’.
August 29th, 2014 by admin
The Bermuda Sun didn’t take kindly to our analysis of potential AC35 venues last week, devoting half a page of text to Sailing Anarchy’s ‘naiveté’ in criticizing the tiny island as an America’s Cup venue. The Sun’s confidence comes in part thanks to a single source they cite; a retired sailing coach named Paul Doughty, the Bermuda media’s go-to guy for quotes. ”Sailing Anarchy…have no idea what this tiny island gave the sailing world,” said Doughty.
We do, in fact, know what Bermuda gave the sailing world, Mr. Doughty. But your island’s 17th century contribution to upwind sailing has precisely fuck-all to do with the logic of holding an AC in Bermuda, especially one held by a US-based team. Doughty says “I think it would be a tremendous shot in the arm for Bermuda…In terms of world exposure, it’s massive. Every single yacht club in Europe would see us and the incredible place that we sail in.”
You know what, coach? It would be incredible for the economy of, say, Haiti, if FIA decided to hold a Formula One race there. The whole world would see how pretty it is – imagine the world exposure! But it’s still a stupid fucking idea.
So listen up, all you dicks in those stupid shorts and socks: Sailing Anarchy likes Bermuda just fine. It’s a pretty island with good sailing conditions (once you get there, at least!) and a great lagoon. But it’s also got a British culinary culture, some of the most over-priced goods anywhere, and is right in Hurricane Alley. And with just 60,000 inhabitants, a Bermuda AC would be a luxurious but very, very quiet affair – perfect for Louis Vuitton to get back on the scene, anyway.
More importantly, if Bermuda is picked as a Cup venue, it will be an outright admission by the folks running the AC of something that we already know, and an indicator of something far worse: Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts’ stated mission before AC34 – transforming the Cup into a worldwide brand with sustainable commercial appeal to a worldwide audience – has failed. Choosing a major US city might mean Coutts is giving it another try, but a Bermuda Cup would mean that they’ve all given up, and that the AC is, indeed, solely for the super rich. And of course, for 60,000 Bermudans. For everyone else, there’s Youtube.
What were we saying about Chicago again?
June 25th, 2014 by admin
2-time America’s Cup winner and Oracle Team USA principal Larry Ellison ranks as the most punchable CEO in America based on criteria such as scope of influence, public image, annual income, and general physical appearance, according to one of the most reliable sources of fake news in human history…read on.
April 3rd, 2014 by admin
We’re still a few days (and a transpacific flight or two) away from the comprehensive SA “Report Card” on the 34th America’s Cup. It will perhaps not surprise or amaze you, but it will lay out the reality behind the event, without qualifications or a worry that somehow Sailing Anarchy will be excluded from future Cups for being honest in front of a massive audience. In the meantime, Pierre over at Vsail continues to be run one of the few sailing publications unafraid to tell it like it really is, and here’s a portion of his own solid analysis of what went right and what went wrong in San Francisco.
Does Larry Ellison really want an America’s Cup with many challengers?
Despite Larry Ellison’s own statements as back as February 2010 and Russell Coutts’ frequent claims, the 34th America’s Cup wasn’t conceived and implemented in order to attract a great number of competing teams. We will not go once again into the details of the high costs, enormous complexity and mind-boggling logistical needs of the AC72 boats, these aspects have been exhaustively covered by this and many other sailing and mainstream media. If Ellison truly wanted to have 12 challengers and 3 defenders, he could have easily done it in the three and a half years since his victory in Valencia in February 2010. The end result was that only three challengers were able to afford the necessary costs to mount a credible challenge and one of them, Artemis Racing, had no interest whatsoever in the commercial and media return of the event since they were entirely privately funded.
Having just two challengers with serious commercial interests makes it much easier for any defender, in general, and Larry Ellison in particular. He’s only goal was and is to retain the America’s Cup, not to organize a challenger selection series with 12 teams, avoiding a great deal of headaches that come with that. The less, the merrier. We can’t see why it will be different this time.
The question is of course whether it really matters if there are 2 or 12 challengers. The America’s Cup was never meant to be a a “big” TP52 circuit. Each one has its own place in the sport of sailing and the America’s Cup isn’t meant to be for everybody, even if they can afford it! Take for example Niklas Zennström, the founder of Skype. He’s an avid sailor, his fortune could eventually allow him to fund a Cup campaign and he spends a lot of money in his TP52 and Mini-Maxi 72 campaigns, nearly 7 million euros per year! Yet he’s not interested in the America’s Cup because he wants to helm his boat, not write checks and watch her from the dock. Other, equally wealthy businessmen, prefer to race in the RC44 class.
Bob and Sandy Oatley, the father and son billionaires from Australia and Challenger of Record, stated a couple of days ago they would like to see a significant reduction in costs so that more teams can enter but then again it’s up to Larry Ellison to decide the future. Vincenzo Onorato, Challenger of Record for the 34th America’s Cup, agreed with Ellison’s protocol because he thought Ellison would also fund his campaign. When he saw that he wouldn’t get a single euro from the American billionaire he withdrew since he was unable to find the necessary funding for Mascalzone Latino. This shows that the Challenger of Record doesn’t have a say in shaping the event and Larry Ellison doesn’t seem to bother if the challenger he chose withdraws…
However, one thing that Larry Ellison’s organization should refrain from doing again this time is to embark on a PR campaign preaching their desire to have “multiple” challengers while at the same time doing everything possible in order not to have more than a handful.
October 9th, 2013 by admin