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The 90-Foot Beast

It’s official – the AC90 Rule has been published and the future looks bright for the 33rd America’s Cup.

Briefly, the rule says AC boats will be 90 feet in length overall with a draft of 6.5 m (21.3 feet) and a displacement of 23 tons. Designers from the six current entries have been hard at work for the past six weeks brainstorming ideas and all seems amicable at this writing.

The old and the new. Computer-generated models of the most recent AC boat which was 75 feet and the proposed new 90-ft boat.

33rd America’s Cup
©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Now that the AC90 Rule has been disclosed to Golden Gate YC and their BMW Oracle Team, it’s likely that this is a big step towards overcoming obstacles and finalizing details so that all teams can move forward and start building their boats.

One concern GGYC had was that Alinghi had an unfair advantage since they designed the rule. Alinghi has agreed to change the rule enough to address concerns.

Now, eyes will turn back to the court ruling which could come at any time. Hopefully the remaining concerns can be sorted out in a sportsman-like manner and teams can forge ahead with building and training, getting back to what the Cup is really all about: history, athleticism and top-notch competition.

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It was pre-Ha-Ha when Capricorn Cat passed down the California Coast, under a fiery cloud caused by the many fires burning ashore.
Robin Aitken Hardy of the San Pedro-based trawler The Cat’s Meow sent us this report of a boat fire in Marina Palmira on October 20: "The 80+-ft Mexico-flagged yacht Mi Barú was tied up to the end tie of Dock Two when a fire broke out around 9 a.m.