Americas Cup 2017 teams – Team Oracle
The American host team and winners of the ‘Auld Mug in Valencia in 2010 and San Francisco in 2013. Owned by one of the world’s richest men Larry Ellison, Bermuda was chosen as the venue for the American’s to retain the trophy they have won 31 times. It is also expected that if Oracle were to pervail then Ellison would keep the team base in Bermuda, which would be good news for the island.
The co-founder of Oracle which he began with $1,200 of his own money, Larry Ellison is the 7th richest man in the world with a fortune said to now exceed $55bn. The 72-year old remains Executive Chairman of Oracle but mostly now spends his time on his expensive passion’s for yachting, tennis, flying, real estate and young girlfriends. It is also said that he has given at least $150m away to charities. Ellison’s yacht Musashi is expected to be arriving in Bermuda any day.
Helmsman of Team Oracle is Australian Jimmy Spithill, who led a remarkable comeback in 2013 to retain the Americas Cup, and made history in 2010 when at age of 30, became the youngest skipper ever to win the sailing’s pre-eminent competition. Spithill was born into a sailing family as his parents lived in a small town surrounded by water north of Sydney.
Spithill, along with COO Grant Simmer and sailing team manager and tactician Tom Slingsby, has assembled a younger, stronger crew, capable of facing up to the massive physical and mental challenges posed by the new America’s Cup Class boats. I was lucky enough to get a tour of their base at Royal Dockyard and watched these guys train. Forget the stereotypical rugged sailor, these are incredibly fit young athletes. We were told that after a 2-hour morning work out, the crew is immediately given the equivalent of a 11+ exam. If they fail, they are sent back to the gym.
Ellison and Spithill have assembled some the best yacht designers and boat builders and there is a reason why they are favorites to retain the 35th Americas Cup
Major sponsors: Oracle, Panerai, BMW, Airbus, Parker, Ironshore
Odds to win: 4/5