Peter de Savary reached the LVC Challenger Final
in 1983 with his self-financed Victory 83 campaign
but lost then against Australia II.
At the AC 1987 he did not take part but placed a
challenge for the next Cup with an outstanding
This was the hydrofoil-stabilized "Blue Arrow".
It was about the size of Conner's catamaran
Stars & Stripes, but had a single hull that was as
narrow as a canoe.
It was launched officially on 20th July 1988, 90
days after the start of design.
The boat was fitted with two hydrofoils at the end
of a crossbeam.
This beam could be hydraulically shifted along the
hull by about 30 cm.
The hydrofoils were not meant to lift the vessel out
of the water; they were designed to supply just a
heeling moment by having equal and opposite
angles of attack for each foil thus generating no
Blue Arrow “Radical” / GB Peter de Savary’s hydrofoil glider
This radical yacht was supported on a crossbar by two stilts with hydrodynamic wings
AMERICA’S CUP HISTORY 1983 - 2013
net vertical force on the vessel, but just a righting moment to counter the heeling moment
induced by the sail.
A crew member stood in a small cockpit in the main hull. He monitored the hydrofoil settings
via an instrument display in the cockpit, and controlled the hydrofoils with a hand crank to
balance them in a very small range of angles to control the heeling of the yacht.
This meant the vessel had to be under way to generate any appreciable righting moment.
At the low speeds, large inflatable floats were placed under the crossbeam by the support crew
(for docking, etc).
The mast was a sophisticated aerodynamic design and looked like a wing, but carried
soft sails made of Kevlar.
Michael Fay, who had nominated his big boat KZ-1 for the 1988 AC,was originally interested in an
elimination regatta of all challengers and reached a verbal agreement with de Savary to race in a
But when he saw the Blue Arrow he withdrew his promise as he was only prepared to challenge
yachts about equal in size to the KZ-1. Then, when the New York Court decided Fay and Conner
"should settle their conflict on the water" (The a Deed of Gift race with only two yachts limited to
3 rounds) Blue Arrow was effectively excluded from the Cup.
The Blue Arrow team planned to transport the disassembled yacht by airplane to San Diego, at
least for testing purposes.
However, while sailing from her home base at Falmouth October 27th 1988, an accident
occurred that led to severe damage of the vessel.
Sailing at high speed (estimated at 30 kts) in waves the bow "dig in" and the vessel
pitch-poled, fracturing the hull. A replacement boat was not built.
The Blue Arrow was a radical design and the first sign that the AC could be sailed with
completely different boats (see AC 2010 and AC 2013)
Another sailing project that has used Flow Solutions' hydrodynamic design methods
is the World's fastest sailing vessel over 500m (65.45 kts) and a nautical mile (55.32 kts)!
Don’t miss this link: http://www.sailrocket.com/node/136
Yacht / Country : Blue Arrow “Radical” / GB
Sail Number : no number issued
Syndicate : Blue Arrow Yachting Syndicat
CEO : Peter de Savary
Yacht Club: Royal Burnham YC
Designers: Derek Clark (Technical Director)
Geoff Willis (hydrodynamics)
Peter Heppel (sails)
Graeme Winn (instrumentation)
Technical Consultants: Steve Fiddes
Boat Builder: Various
Final assembly and launch at Falmouth Docks