It’s hard to describe what’s going on with the America’s Cup Finals taking place this month out on San Francisco Bay—hard because, frankly, it’s painful.
Larry’s Ellison’s Oracle Team USA won its first yacht race on Sunday only to lose its fourth race in the series on Tuesday and then go on to lose two more races on Thursday. The epic losses, some of over 1 minute in length, have made his well-funded team members look both embarrassed and embarrassing.
How Ellison spends his money, of course, is nobody else’s business. However, advisors often can (and should) be a moderating influence over the “toys” on which their high-net-worth clients like to spend money.
The America’s Cup is showing that Ellison, as well as other fellow-America’s Cup investor and Swedish billionaire Torbjorn Tornqvist, could use some moderation.
True, just a few days ago, Oracle Team USA—which boasts mainly non-U.S. leadership and membership—looked like it might be able to stage a comeback. But after its abysmal performance in the fifth race on Tuesday, the team took its one “pass” and declined to participate in the sixth race, which was set for later the same day.
Emirates Team New Zealand is clearly able to race upwind, or nearly into, the wind more quickly, aggressively and capably, leaving Team USA with very few options on how to win a race. Team USA can’t out-tack or out-maneuver the Kiwis either, so it played the only card it had left on Tuesday; it’s won one race out of seven, but is still in negative territory in terms of points, thanks to cheating and penalties associated with its conduct in previous races.