Planet Money

San Francisco, Larry Ellison and the America's Cup

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 (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

In 2000, Oracle CEO and billionaire Larry Ellison suddenly found himself without a sponsor for his America's Cup team. At the same time, a local yacht club was on the brink of bankruptcy. San Francisco Chronicle journalist Julian Guthrie tells the story of how Ellison teamed up with a car mechanic running the yacht club, and after a decade of trial and error, won the prestigious sailing race. Guthrie joins us to discuss her book "The Billionaire and the Mechanic," as well as the ongoing funding and safety problems facing the America's Cup race, which is being held in San Francisco this summer.


Julian Guthrie, staff writer for The San Francisco Chronicle and author of "The Billionaire and the Mechanic" and "The Grace of Everyday Saints"