By Ward Davis
This past Valentine's Day, the crew of BMW Oracle achieved
owner Larry Ellison's ambition to win the America's Cup and
bring the sailing regatta back to its namesake waters. It only
took $300 million dollars of investment in multihull and wing
technology and years of court appeals to secure the victory
held off the coast of Valencia, Spain. The BMW Oracle sported a
wing mast that cost $5 million alone - the price of an entire
America's Cup campaign ten years earlier!
Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi 5 was so light that she was
unable to sail effectively in winds over 15 knots or with waves
much over a few feet high. Ellison's boat was much heavier and
more capable of handling the rough conditions. Despite a costly
botched start in the first race, BMW Oracle blew by Alinghi
(literally) and swept the best of three series two to...