In sports, everyone is a winner—some people just win better than others. Like the under-appreciated billionaires who brought America's Cup back where it belongs: A snooty American yacht club.
This post actually should have been written yesterday, but we were still reeling from Sunday's dramatic victory by the BMW-Oracle's trimaran (fixed wing sails, baby!), the U.S.'s first triumph in the event since 1995. (The viewing party I went to got a little out of hand, obviously.) American pride is swelling, even though nine of the 11 people in the boat were not from the U.S. The skipper, Russell Coutts, is actually the New Zealander who took the Cup away from America in 1995 before joining the Swiss team that took it away from the Kiwis, before the Swiss fired him and he won it back for America. It's the circle of guys who are good with boats.
The one American sort of responsible for this is Oracle chairman Larry Ellison, once the second-richest man in the world, who successfully played his part by winning the lawsuit that allowed the U.S. team to challenge the reigning Cup holders. Because what's a yachting contest without litigation? So now the Golden Gate Yacht Club—which you will never be a member of—will house the oldest trophy in international sports and the United States proves once and for all that the greatest use of grotesque discretionary wealth will always be global disputes over sailing.