The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Monday that Larry Ellison, the billionaire owner of 98 percent of Lanai, wants to hold the 2017 America’s Cup yacht race in Hawaii.
Ellison said he wants the next America’s Cup to involve regattas all over the world “leading up to the Louis Vuitton Cup, and the main event, the America’s Cup, likely taking place in Honolulu,” according to the newspaper.
The decision means that San Francisco will not be the host city for the next Cup.
Last summer Ellison’s Oracle Team USA won the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco in one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. The regatta generated less economic impact in the Bay Area than projected and cost city taxpayers more than $5 million, the Associated Press reported.
“Holding the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America’s Cup in Hawaii has been one of Ellison’s long-standing dreams. In June 2012, the Oracle Corp. co-founder and CEO purchased the island of Lanai for $300 million. It was a far-fetched fantasy that he’d had since he was in his 20s, when he first flew over one of Hawaii’s smallest inhabited islands in a Cessna 172 and was captivated by the thousands of acres of fragrant pineapple fields,” the Chronicle article said.
Having the America’s Cup on the waters off Honolulu would be a boon to Hawaii’s tourism and visibility, the newspaper said.
“That’s the plan anyway,” Ellison was quoted as saying. “We have a lot of work to do. We have to make deals with all the cities where we want to hold races. It’s not going to be easy to pull this off. All that, plus we have to get an agreement with the Challenger of Record, the Hamilton Island Yacht Club of Australia.”
The Chronicle said the article was based on excerpts from a new paperback edition of Chronicle staff writer Julian Guthrie’s book, “The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed Up to Win Sailing’s Greatest Race, the America’s Cup, Twice.”
Ellison spoke to Guthrie in a series of exclusive interviews over several months, the newspaper said.