Oracle chief Larry Ellison's tilt at sailing's America's Cup is over. The Oracle CEO's costly bid ended before the storied sailboat race proper even started.

BMW Oracle Racing Team's lost 5-1 defeat to Italian rival Luna Rossa Challenge team in the best-of-nine semi-final of the Louis Vuitton Cup held off Valencia, Spain.

Once a favourite to win the America's Cup, BMW Oracle was founded by Ellison, Oracle's CEO. Ellison sailed on the boat, at times taking the helm during the early stages of the Louis Vuitton Cup, a series of races held to choose the challenger that will face defender Alinghi, of Switzerland, in the America's Cup later this year.

BMW Oracle was widely believed to be the best funded of all the America's Cup teams, with a budget of $150m or more.

Prior to the start of the final race with Luna Rossa, BMW Oracle replaced skipper Chris Dickson with back up helmsman Sten Mohr. After a close start, Luna Rossa built a 32-second lead on the first leg to the windward mark. BMW Oracle was not able to close the gap, trailing the Italian boat across the finish line by 33 seconds.