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Italians sink Ellison's America's Cup bid

'Hurts big time' admits BMW Oracle team

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Larry Ellison's ambitions to lift the America's Cup have sunk beneath the Med after his BMW Oracle Racing Team went down 5-1 to Italian sail worriers Luna Rossa Challenge in the waters off Valencia, InfoWorld reports.

BMW Oracle were soundly beaten in the best-of-nine semis of the Louis Vuitton Cup, despite the on-board presence of Ellison who contributed a fair number of pieces of eight to the venture's modest $150m budget.

BMW Oracle CEO Chris Dickson admitted: "They [the Italians] have out-sailed us in many areas on the race course this week, they've had great speed upwind, enough speed downwind, started well, got those first wind shifts, made good tactical calls."

While the inevitable BMW Oracle blog admits the defeat "hurts big time", it sportingly congratulates Luna Rossa Challenge for their success.

The other semi is being fought out between Emirates Team New Zealand and Desafío Español 2007, with the former currently holding a 4-2 lead. The eventual winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup will then take on America's Cup holders Alinghi of Switzerland in late June and early July. ®

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