By most accounts from folks who have crossed paths with Oracle co-founder and Hawaiian Island owner Larry Ellison is a self-centered, self-important asshole. Add to that an ordinary average guy mechanic, one of the most elite, expensive spots enterprises known to man and you have the makings of a story that would have most people running from the room screaming!
But with The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Mechanic Teamed Up to Win Sailings Greatest Race, The America’s Cup award-winning, San Francisco Chronicle journalist Julian Guthrie has managed to create a fascinating story full of intrigue and insights into the inner workings of the high profile America’s Cup racing competition. Guthrie walks a fine balance to juggle the stories of both the billionaire, Ellison and Norbert Bajurin the mechanic.
Contrast the strong personalities with science and technology of the development of these high speed craft, the politics and rivalry that are front and center in this high stakes sport and you end up with an interesting storyline even for those non-fans of the sport. The striking dynamics of what goes on behind the scenes leading up to the competition and the crisp insider perspective of what impacts the participants makes for great storytelling.
With the unimaginable, for most, price tag that is attached to the pursuit of the America’s Cup, personal success is a given for most of the participants. Their drive and unquenchable desire to succeed at the highest levels of the sport is a thread that truly propels the story forward.