Ironically, there is an underdog element to the story. For the NZ Americas Cup campaign, the obvious Bay Area yacht club to sponsor Ellison for the challenge was the St. Francis YC in SF. Probably not a big deal by East Coast standards, but certainly one of the most prestigious YC's on the West Coast. Apparently, Ellison wanted more power on the board than the St. Francis was willing to give him. So...Ellison went a quarter of a mile down the road to the Golden Gate YC, a little blue collar club. At the time, the Commodore was a radiator repairman and the GGYC was on the ropes financially. They must have been really happy to see Larry walk through the door! As I recall, to be "sponsored" each member of Ellison's crew had to join the club at $1000 per person, not to mention the other obvious perks of "sponsorship" for a little nondescript club. I remember a picture of some of the members being whisked off to watch the race in NZ. They looked like deer in the headlights, still not quite believing what was happening! The GGYC is still Ellison's "sponsor" today, and and I smile every time I hear the club mentioned in reference to the AC! I suspect the folks at the St. Francis don't have the same reaction!
St. Francis doesn't need Ellison and it doesn't need the cup to remain the better organization. At the end of the day, GGYC is never going to be anything more than a plaything for Ellison and it will fade right back into obscurity(or insolvency) once Ellison finds a new way to flaunt his money. Frankly I think the biggest reason he's still aligned with them is that no other yacht club will have him.