In a late report from the Examiner last night, we learn that billionaire Larry Ellison and his BMW Oracle Racing team have "ramped up" negotiations with Rhode Island officials to host the race in Newport. In an official letter to Rhode Island's economic development chief, team hardliner Stephen Barclay wrote:

We are very serious in our intent to move forward with Rhode Island...There is much to do to meet the time frames we have set.

Barclay's letter was released yesterday while another team official was in Rhode Island meeting with the tiny state's Economic Development Corp. Meanwhile, our own Board of Supervisors and the Mayor still stand behind the San Francisco proposal they approved last week, but they obviously did not receive word on the team's decision by last Friday as they had hoped.

Officially, the team still has until December 31st (their own deadline) to make a final decision and the Examiner notes that Italy and Spain still have an outside chance at this thing as well. This could, of course, just be a move on Barclay's part to try and get some free waterfront property out of the whole deal because he still seems kind of upset about the Pier 50 thing.

While we've been wavering in our opinion of fancy boat races, it would really suck to lose out to Rhode Island, so we're going to have to agree with Nevius on this one and point out that tailgating the race on the Embarcadero would be much more enjoyable for casual sailing fans than watching it on a screen in some Rhode Island seafood shack.

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