Four wheel drive foiler

Daddy Long Legs versus L'Hydroptere on Sunday
Helena Darvelid /
Daddy Long Legs versus L'Hydroptere on Sunday
We look at the new British foiling cat, C-Fly developed by a leading aerospace engineer and a genuine rocket scientest
L’Hydroptere charging around the Solent over the last few days has brought out of hiding another UK hydrofoil project that has managed to survive for 15 years under the radar. On Sunday the Daddy Long Legs foiler cat lined up against the French world sailing speed record holder on the Solent. The C-Fly project is the baby of two ex-Tornado sailor/very high powered engineers – Chris Edwards, who’s day job is as Aerospace and Defence Director of Frazer-Nash Consultancy and who’s past jobs have including working for the marine division at Rolls Royce while Richard Varvill is genuinely a rocket scientist in his role as Technical Director of Reaction Engine, a company that designs advanced space transportation and propulsion systems. They have been joined by Peter Whitelaw, a sailor who brings marketing and business skills to the campaign. Fundamental to the C-Fly concept is that, unlike L’Hydroptere or Paul Larsen’s Vestas SailRocket, it is NOT a speed sailing boat. The aim has been to produce a foiling multihull with high speed potential certainly but principally to perform well and be manageable in all conditions and points of sail. In particular she has been designed to handle well in waves. As Chris Edwards explains: “We didn’t design it to break the sailing speed record. The design speed we set ourselves was 40 knots, but with very good all round performance – that was the key and handling in sea state, a boat that you could push off the beach and go sailing.” Daddy Long Legs, the working 26ft long version of C-Fly was launched five years ago and has been under development by the team ever since. It should be stressed that this is no plywood-built, belt and braces affair. Using all their professional engineering know-how Edwards states that around 32,000 hours of