The America's Cup, first awarded in 1851, is the oldest trophy in international sports, and one of the most hotly contested. In 2000, Larry Ellison, co-founder and billionaire CEO of Oracle Corporation, decided to run for the coveted prize and found an unlikely partner in Norbert Bajurin, a car radiator mechanic who had recently been named Commodore of the blue collar Golden Gate Yacht Club. Julian Guthrie's "The Billionaire and the Mechanic" tells the incredible story of the partnership between Larry and Norbert, their unsuccessful runs for the Cup in 2003 and 2007, and their victory in 2010. With unparalleled access to Ellison and his team, Guthrie takes readers inside the design and building process of these astonishing boats, and the management of the passionate athletes who race them. She traces the bitter rivalries between Oracle and their competitors, including Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli's Team Alinghi, and throws readers into exhilarating races from Australia and New Zealand to Valencia, Spain. With new television coverage and huge media, the America's Cup is poised to be bigger than ever, and "The Billionaire and the Mechanic" is a must-read for anyone interested in the race or this remarkable story.
"[An] excellent book ... The story of Mr. Ellison's decade-long effort to win the Cup and bring it back to the U.S. under Golden Gate's flag is worth telling, and Julian Guthrie, a reporter for the "San Francisco Chronicle," tells it well."--"The Wall Street Journal" "Splendid ... Guthrie crisply sketches the complex process that was required for Ellison to establish his own position in the top ranks of yachting and organize the winning team in 2010. A thriller of a tale and a worthy scene-setter for this summer's trophy defense in San Francisco Bay."--"Kirkus Reviews" ""The Billionaire and the Mechanic" opens with a thrilling scene as old as Homer's 'Odyssey' and as iconic as ones from Conrad, Melville, Hemingway and Sebastian Junger a man battling a dangerously stormy sea. That the sailor, Larry Ellison, is one of our contemporary captains of industry, the swashbuckling billionaire of the title ... only heightens the drama. ... "[The Billionaire and the Mechanic]" succeeds as a lively primer, history, and up-to-date soap opera, full of local color, leading up to the America's Cup races in San Francisco Bay."--"San Francisco Chronicle" "Julian Guthrie's riveting book takes readers deep into uncharted realms, from the extremes of the ocean to the sublime connection between two singular men. "The Billionaire and The Mechanic" is a wondrously detailed story, beautifully told, by a writer who understands both the intricacies of human nature and the immensity of the natural world." --Susan Casey, author of "The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean" "Surely the most comprehensive book ever written about an America's Cup challenge, "The Billionaire and The Mechanic" will surely be must reading for any yacht-racing aficionado." --Frank Deford "From the opening scene in this book--and scene is the appropriate word for its cinematic beginning--the reader is swept along on heart-thumping rides on swift, dueling sai