Under the skin of the AC33

Alinghi Design Co-ordinator Grant Simmer talks us through the new rule
Obviously the America’s Cup is on hold awaiting the decision of the New York Appeal Court over the fate of the 33rd America’s Cup. BMW Oracle Racing think there could be news anytime after this Thursday. In the meantime, Grant Simmer, one time Australia 2 navigator, now Alinghi’s Design Co-ordinator, talked us through the new class rule published at the end of January, that they and the potential competitors in the 33rd America’s Cup have been beating out and that will become reality should the court ruling go in their favour. The complete rule is here AC Version 5 AC33 boat Metres Imp Metres Imp Length overall 24.5m typical 80.36ft 26m max 85.28ft Length waterline 18-20m 59-65.6ft 26m max 85.28ft Beam 3.3m typical 10.8ft 4.8m max 15.74ft Draft 4.1m 13.45ft 5.0m 16.4ft Weight in  measurement  condition 24T 17.5T Mast height  from sheerline 32.5m 106.6ft 33.6m 110.2ft Spinnaker area 512sqm maximum unlimited Mainsail area 214sqm typical 225sqm max I from sheerline 26.1m 85.6ft 28.5m 93.48ft J 8.3m 27ft 10m 32.8ft Spinnaker tack  from mast 11.6m (pole) 38ft 13.65m (to end of bowsprit) 44.77ft While obviously much work into the development of the AC90, the new boat may be the ‘credit crunch’ version, but is still whopping at 85ft long (26m), slightly bigger than a V5 boat. Significantly it won’t look anything like its forebears, with much more modern lines and significantly no overhangs - LWL was around 18-20m on a 24.5m typical LOA with the V5 boats. The new rule allows it to be as long overall as it is at the waterline. Given that the new boats, if they are ever built, may also compete in regattas such as the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup or the Voiles de St Tropez, length-wise they also fill a hole between the Alfa Romeo/ Wild Oats/ Leopard/ Speedboat-sized supermaxis and the Mini Maxis. Ernesto Bertarelli envisages them becoming the new maxi class. According to Simmer - and also an indicator of the genuinely democratic process that the development of this rule seems to have followed between defender and challengers - Alinghi were keen on the new boat having overhangs, but this wasn’t accepted. “We wanted a