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waaa!

Arrow was built in 1821 by Inman at Lymington for Mr. Joseph Weld. She was a cutter of 84 tons, measuring 61 feet in length and 18 feet in the beam. Her slightly-raked mast was stepped almost amidship, and she carried a long and heavy bowsprit. She was straight-stemmed, with a nice sheer lending grace to her somewhat high freeboard.

On August 22, 1851, fifteen yachts, among them the schooner America, which sailed over from the United States, competed in an open race without time allowance for a cup valued at £100 offered by the Royal Yacht Squadron. The course was eastwards from Cowes round the Isle of Wight. Arrow, over-confident or through ill-luck, ran aground on the rocks near Ventor when in the lead. Volante, the British yacht next astern, soon afterwards sprang her bowsprit and retired. Alarm stood by to render assistance and America, now with a commanding lead, finished first at Cowes.” – John Scott Hughes – Famous Yachts (1928)

(This account moderates the persistent legend that America, with a superior Yankee design and crew, had out-sailed “all comers” in that famous race. The details of precisely where on the course the yachts were when these incidents occurred are unclear, but if not for the grounding of Arrow and the broken bowsprit on Volante there might never have been an America’s Cup. The owner of Arrow was fond of saying that his yacht “was never beaten by America”.)