Over the past decade the Middle East has made a massive move to secure some of the world's major sporting events. Abu Dhabi won the right to host a Formula One Grand Prix beginning in 2009, Qatar was successful in its FIFA World Cup bid for 2022 and the world's top tennis players and golfers regularly head to the region for big tour tournaments.
After 30 years of competing against each other at the highest level, sailing's most famous siblings have joined forces in a bid to get their hands on the oldest trophy in international sport: the America's Cup.
On Feb. 20, days after winning the 33rd sailing of the America's Cup regatta in Valencia, Spain, BMW Oracle Racing owner Larry Ellison made a formal presentation of the silver Cup at San Francisco's City Hall. Joined onstage by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, team CEO (and four-time America's Cup winner) Russell Coutts, and skipper Jimmy Spithill, Ellison spoke of his plans for the Cup tournament now that it will be back in the U.S. for the first time in 15 years. He elaborated in far greater detail with Fortune's Adam Lashinsky in an exclusive interview following the public event. An edited transcript follows:
The rivalry between two particularly litigious billionaires has turned the 33rd Americas Cup yacht race into a personal grudge match -- and driven millions of dollars in sponsorship money away from one of the world's premier sporting events.