This is the Islander 30 that Bob is referring to:
Thanks Mitiempo, I know. That is a 1970 (73?) design. The Arpege is a 1966 design. In 1966 the current Islander 29 was a boat with an old designed keel, kind of a modified full keel, a slow boat.
All the discussion was about Bob saying that the Arpege was a slow boat and a boring boat to sail. That has to do with the type of boat the Arpege is, I mean being slow. Bob thought that the Arpege was a race boat or a sports boat. It was not. It was a main market big production coastal cruiser and the best selling cruiser in Europe for several years.
To compare the Arpege with an American boat, to see if it is slow or boring, you would have to compare it with a boat of the same segment and a boat from the same time (1966) and from the same segment market: main market, meaning the type of boats that sell more (that's what make them main market).
Bob gave as example of a boat that only appeared 4 years after the Arpege was on the market and one type of boat that was not main market on the American market. I don't know the American market of the end of the 60's, beginning of the 70's but I noticed that on that period of time the Columbia type was much more popular than the Islander (sold much more when the Arpege was in production) and therefore it was a much better base of comparison as two main market boats, regarding being boring or slow.
Four years later, at about the same time the boat Bob is referring was launched appeared on the European market the Scampi 30 a Swedish boat designed by the Swede Peter Norlin. That was a much more sportive and expensive boat, sold in small numbers and that for 3 years dominated the half ton cup. Not main market for sure
Anyway Bob is contradicting himself : he says that the Arpege is radical for its time and is a race boat and then says that as a main market cruiser (that's what the boat is) is slow and boring.
The fact that the Arpege won the Half Ton Cup proves, to at least it's crew, that it was a racing boat. if it were not a race boat I sincerely doubt it would have entered the half Ton Cup series.
If you look at the competition for the 1966 Half Ton Cup you will see that the Arpege with it's fin keel and separate rudder was almost "radical" for it's time. In those days many boats still had full keels.
Bottom point, what I said and repeat is that the boat in 1966 had a remarkable performance for a main market mass production coastal cruiser, so good that it won several races, a thing that was not intended on his design program. As Bob agrees it was a radical boat for its time and one that helped to spread the concept of a modern boat with a fin ballasted keel and a rudder well away from the keel. Certainly not a boring or slow boat for 1966.