Fulfilling a 10-year ambition, Larry Ellison's sailing team won the America's Cup sailing race Sunday near Valencia, Spain.
The BMW Oracle Racing team used a triple-hulled craft called a trimaran sporting a giant vertical airfoil rather than a conventional sail. The airfoil works on the same principal an airplane wing, only it pushes the boat along through the water while a horizontal wing on a plane lifts the plane up.
"It's absolutely an awesome feeling," Ellison said in a statement. James Spithill, a 30-year-old from Australia, was skipper of the boat; Ellison was listed in the crew as afterguard.
The BMW Oracle boat is 114 feet long, and its 7,700-pound wing sail is 223 feet tall.
According to race reports, the BMW Oracle craft hit speeds of about 33 miles per hour during Sunday's 39-mile race, the second of a best-of-three competition. The BMW Oracle team also won the first day's race Friday, so Sunday's race earned it the overall victory.
The challenger in the two-boat race was America's Cup defender Alinghi, a Swiss team with an exotic catamaran. Despite an early lead, it finished 5 minutes 26 seconds later than the BMW Oracle team.
Already, the BMW Oracle team has accepted the a challenge for the next America's Cup. The challenging team is Mascalzone Latino, representing Yacht Club Roma, for the 34th competition.