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New PAC 52 Class lines up to do battle for SDYC's Yachting Cup

BIG WEEKEND AHEAD at San Diego Yacht Club, which tomorrow through Sunday hosts the Yachting Cup, SDYC's annual Spring big boat regatta. The new PAC 52 class will be racing for the first time, all four of which are Med-tied on SDYC's front dock alongside the Sleds. Quite a scene! From left to right, Tom Holtus' BADPAK (San Diego), Manouch Moshayedi's RIO 52 (Newport Beach), Frank Slootman's INVISIBLE HAND (San Francisco) and Victor Wild's FOX (San Diego).

Reportedly all four yachts weighed in within 120kg -- the weight of a large man -- which, as Max Moosmann wrote in his PAC 52 piece posted yesterday, that kind of weight control is "insanely good for a 52-footer." PAC 52 rules also call for owner-drivers (non-pro), and there is a limit of 7 pros in the crews of 15.

To help control costs, the boats are designed to a very tightly controlled box rule, almost but not quite one-design. Note the slightly different freeboards – BADPAK and INVISIBLE HAND have 300mm higher freeboard so they can do the Transpac and other offshore races in relative comfort. The owners of RIO and FOX do not intend to race them offshore.

Four more PAC 52 regattas are planned for this summer on the West Coast: Newport Beach, Long Beach and two in San Francisco. SAILING ILLUSTRATED will give extensive coverage to each. Photo courtesy of FOX crew Andrew Paolini.