Larry Ellison Speaks
December 5 - San Francisco
"We're like the U. S. Navy - we have a lot more captains than we have ships," claimed Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, speaking yesterday at the annual Oracle OpenWorld conference at Moscone Center. "The strong No. 2, I tried that a couple of times. I'll never do that again. . . Sometimes they get blinded by the limelight, and they become less effective than they were before."
The above quotes (lifted from today's business section of the San Francisco Chronicle) were from Ellison's keynote speech about issues at Oracle Corporation, specifically about recent executive-level shake-ups. We hoped that Ellison would be equally candid at his late afternoon press conference about Oracle Racing and his quest for the America's Cup. Specifically, we were wondering about Paul Cayard's current status - does he still have a future with Oracle Racing? Or will Cayard, who is also on the Nautor Challenge board, be allowed to leave Oracle Racing and possibly join Amer Sports One in the Volvo Race as a replacement for the injured Grant Dalton?
Alas, the press conference was geared toward the non-sailing media, and we learned almost nothing new. Crewmembers Peter Holmberg and Mike 'Moose' Sanderson warmed up the small crowd with a short Power Point presentation, and eventually Ellison - surrounded by a cadre of black-suited bodyguards with Secret Service-like radio cords coming out of their ears - showed up. He sat in front of a one-third scale model of an IACC boat and a miniature replica of the America's Cup, and cheerfully fielded generic questions for half an hour.
Among other things, Ellison announced that he intended to steer ("Yes, I expect to drive. Not all of the time and certainly not at the starts - that would be stupid!"), that his campaign would cost about $85 million ("It's cheap," he deadpanned. "Why doesn't everyone do this?"), that BMW was about to come on as a sponsor and, naturally, that he fully expects to win the America's Cup. Questions about the logistics of defending the Cup on San Francisco Bay were deferred, and the obvious question about Cayard was glossed over - a bit nervously we thought - with a seemingly prepared non-statement.
Ellison did impress us with his obvious
love for sailing, which seems more than just a weekend refuge
from the business world to him. He spoke about his hugely successful
Sayonara program, and how happy and proud he was to be
an active part of his team ("If you own a baseball team,
you can't go out on the field and play first base. Well, I guess
you could, but it would be pretty embarrassing!"). He also
told the audience about the fateful '98 Sydney-Hobart Race, an
event that seems to have made a lasting impression on him. "What
I learned from that experience," stated Ellison. "is
that life is short, glorious and fragile."
Crewmen Peter Holmberg and Mike 'Moose' Sanderson warmed up the crowd before Ellison came on.
Ellison addressed the press in
front of a scaled-down A-Cup boat
Photo Michael Ng
Photo Sally Samins
summer training in Ventura
Sailing Photos Courtesy www.oracleracing.com
December 5 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace
Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - 'yacht reports' - at www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/
December 5 - Pacific Ocean
San Francisco Bay Weather
To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind/.
California Coast Weather
Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml.
Pacific Winds and Pressure
The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.
Pacific Sea State
Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states
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