A year later, Ellison apologizes for standing up his customers

The Oracle executive missed a keynote a year earlier to attend a boat race

A year ago this month, thousands of customers waited at the Oracle OpenWorld conference for Larry Ellison to deliver a keynote speech ... but he never turned up.

Ellison had chosen to indulge in his other passion, boat racing, and was attending the America's Cup finals instead. Oracle had sponsored a team in the competition and Ellison was instrumental in bringing the event to San Francisco.

Some attendees were not pleased and said they felt "disappointed" at his decision.

This year, Ellison began his keynote speech with an apology. (See video)

"A year ago, I was a no-show at this conference on Tuesday," he said, getting some laughs from the crowd. "I'd like to take a moment to apologize to everybody, but we were desperately trying to come back from an 8-to-1 deficit in the America's Cup."

Despite Team New Zealand being just one victory from winning, Oracle Racing took the last eight races and snatched the title.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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