Hydro Foil Catamaran Sea Trials at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy
The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) was the chosen venue for an intensive two week sea trials for the innovative new hydro-foil sailing catamaran, known as C-FLY. This is a 26ft catamaran created out of fifteen years of development by a team of aerospace engineers.
Chris Edwards, one of the C-FLY design team and who is leading the way in a new dimension of high speed sailing, explained his reasoning for selecting the venue which is hosting the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
‘C-FLY can reach up to 40 knots in the right conditions and therefore we require a very large expanse of water to conduct our trials. We recognised the WPNSA as having one of the most extensive and sheltered harbours in the UK that is available for sailing. This gave us confidence that we could complete the trials in a controlled environment.’
‘Launching from the Academy gave our team direct access to the test area using the extensive slip ways. We could also head out on the water at any time of day due to the slipways being accessible at all states of tide and wind, which ultimately gave us excellent flexibility for our testing.’
After crossing Portland Harbour at speeds above 25 to 30 knots, the trials were continued outside the harbour in Weymouth Bay. This provided conditions for open sea trials in the English Channel, a real test for any craft. Encountering waves of 1.5 metres, C-FLY demonstrated her exceptional sea-keeping and ability to continue hydro-foiling safely at speed, a clear aim of this project that seeks to solve the difficulties of sailing at very high speeds both safely and in comfort.