One of our local Rancho Mirage residents has been in the news even more than usual recently. Larry Ellison, the mega-billionaire and founder/CEO of Oracle Corporation, who owns the 249-acre property known as Porcupine Creek Ranch, was the sponsor of the winning yacht in the 2013 America’s Cup race, which took place in late September. The 11-man defending champion, Oracle Team USA took the prize ahead of odds-on favorite Emirates Team New Zealand with its 72-foot-long boat after coming from behind in one of the longest, closest series of races in the 162-year history of the Cup.

Yacht racing is not for the faint of heart. This year’s boats were all super-speedy catamaran-style vessels that garnered speeds of more than 50 mph in the regattas that took place in the San Francisco Bay. Spectators were calling the event “NASCAR on water” as the boats crisscrossed and bumped each other as if they were stock cars. It all made for a thrilling ride for crews as well as for TV audiences watching from home. Although Ellison wasn’t part of his team, he joined the winners moments after they crossed the finish line to celebrate with beaucoup bottles of California Napa Valley “champagne.”

Back in Rancho Mirage to recuperate from all the festivities, Ellison is sure to enjoy his spectacular home in Porcupine Creek. This legendary property—surrounded by a private golf course—includes an 18,400-square-foot main residence, eight guesthouses, a pool, spa, gym, and an amphitheater. It’s often used for charity benefits and private parties. As one of many residences owned by the technology titan (including homes in Newport, Rhode Island, Malibu, and the entire Hawaiian island of Lanai), the sprawling desert ranch is by far Larry’s favorite. Or so I’ve heard through the grapevine. And why wouldn’t it be? In the heart of the Palm Springs Valley, with some of the best weather on earth, Rancho Mirage is a great place to live and visit.

Larry Ellison - America's Cup

Photo by: DavidALeePhotography.com