A quick glimpse into the life of a software billionaire: When Larry Ellison's BMW Oracle Racing yacht snapped its $10 million mast this week, the ship's helmsman (not Ellison) described the event as a "minor setback."

That's $10 million for a mast. Granted, it's part of a massive structure that's twice the size of a 747's wing, but that's still $10 million for a mast. The Ellison-owned team has two more in reserve, so it's understandable how the helmsman can call the harrowing event "minor" when speaking to we plebeians.


The cause of the mishap is unknown. Weather and stray surfing gadget blog editors have been ruled out, and the team hopes to figure out the real cause and get back to training so they can meet and defeat Alinghi of Switzerland on Feb. 8. [NBC Bay Area]