The Billionaire and the Mechanic – How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed Up to Win Sailing’s Greatest Race, the America’s Cup
By Julian Guthrie
Grove Press, 2013
323 pages, hardcover
In The Billionaire and the Mechanic, award-winning San Francisco Chronicle journalist Julian Guthrie shares the inside story of an unlikely partnership between Norbert Bajurin, a blue-collar auto radiator repairman and tech billionaire Larry Ellison.
In 2000, Ellison decided that he would mount a challenge for the America’s Cup. The challenge can only be made by a club and not an individual, and although Ellison was a member of the St. Francis Yacht Club he could not come to an equitable agreement with the club for a campaign.
To which club could he turn? In a remarkable twist of fate, a neighboring club, more blue collar and less blue blood, came to the rescue.
It was a win-win for the financially-strapped Golden Gate Yacht Club. It’s newly appointed commodore Bajurin persuaded Ellison to let his club sponsor the challenge. This arrangement saved both the Golden Gate Yacht Club and Oracle’s bid for the Auld Mug.
It is an exciting story of how these two men foraged one of the most unique partnerships in yachting history.