Well, they've done it again. Bertarelli and the people at ACM have changed the game and the boat again. They are talking about a 90' LWL boat now with a sliding keel, a crew of 21, yadayadayada. Other tidbits: it may not be Valencia. They'll have to see how money they can squeeze out of the Spanish before deciding that (which is very strange since they had pre-arranged for the Desafio bunch to be the COR). There is also some talk of having an elimination series based on what they did with the ACTS the last time. Teams with low point totals in the ACTS will not be involved in the regatta at the eventual end site.
My opinion on this? They lost me in the first two minutes. My interest has gone from 'very' to 'not at all'. Just wait and see. This will be the biggest buildup you ever saw for nothing. The winner the next time (and I am taking bets that it's Alinghi) will walk away with this by such margins as to be laughable. After all, Alinghi is creating the rule, yes? Don't you think Rolf Vroljiek has had some time to work on said rule in advance of everyone else? Just when I thought that this thing was turning back into a boat race it reverts into nothing but a design contest. Ridiculous.
Oh yeah, supposedly as a cost cutting measure (laughs out loud) the teams will only be allowed one boat per cycle, so the preliminary rounds will be sailed in the 2007 era boats. Whatever. More informed opinions will follow. I am disgusted with this.