Ellison on board for racing

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The Independent Online

Larry Ellison is a busy man these days. Not as the boss of his San Francisco-based Oracle computer software company but at the helm of his racing yachts. Last week he was in Austria in an RC44, so-called because his America's Cup syndicate ceo Russell Coutts designed the 44-foot yacht.

Yesterday he was in southern France steering his new TP52 in the practice race of the Audi Medcup series grand prix, the second in a series of six, with Coutts at his side for the boat's first appearance on a race track.

He managed only ninth, but it is considered bad luck to win the practice race. This did not stop Peter de Ridder from banging in another win. He leads by just one point after the first event in Alicante, ahead of the King of Spain's Bribon, skippered by Team New Zealand's Dean Barker.

Third in Alicante was Terry Hutchinson's Quantum. He had to dig himself out of a poor start and climbed from 12th out of 14 to sixth. Britain's John Cook and his Cristabella crew were 11th, two ahead of a relaxed Barker.