Sand yachting is the one of the coolest, oldest extreme sports you’ve probably never heard of. The sport has been around for over a hundred years and is most popular across Europe, specifically in Britain.
Sand yachting is, in its simplest form, an extreme sport in which one affixes a typical boat sail to a ground craft, a canoe-looking vessel with four wheels. Although it might look more like a box cart race than a dignified sailing competition, sand yachting, or land sailing, is a perfect hybrid of the two sports.
Land sailing was first introduced in the UK as a method of transport designed for windy days before automobiles became widely available. Although now there are a myriad of more effective ways to get around on land, sand yachting has persisted through the ages because of its versatility and fun.
Land yachts are operated much the same as box carts. There are pedals to give riders leverage, gears that can be pulled and adjusted to help riders steer the vehicle, and ropes along the sails to maneuver efficiently. Races are commonly held in places that obviously have high winds and are flat with good visibility. Some good spaces to attempt land sailing are deserts, dried lake beds, beaches, and airfields.
Sand yachts are some of the fastest land powered vehicles out there! The world record for speed was set in 2009 by Briton Richard Jenkins when he reached an alarming 126 miles per hour! Imagine cruising over a dried lake bed faster than you’ve ever driven in a car. Some variations on the land yacht have all the mechanics of a bicycle and integrate biking techniques to sand yachting. These styles of land yachts can be used in city centers and are very eco friendly ways to avoid traffic on busy days!
Landsailing has also been a proposed solution for traveling on another planet. The solar winds on Venus and the flat surface of the scorched country make it the ideal arena for a wind powered vessel. If a sand yacht were introduced to interplanetary exploration, it could mean huge advancements for science. How cool is it that a niche extreme sport could be used to advance the knowledge and reach of mankind!