Land Yachting Fulfills a Need for Speed
Land yachting, also known as land sailing, blokarting and x-sailing, is becoming increasingly popular in Scotland, a country that is known to offer a variety of extreme sports to adventurers. Considered by many to be the ultimate speed thrill without an engine, land yachting has the added benefit of being eco-friendly.
Although land yachting is classed as an extreme sport, which may suggest that it is dangerous, it is one of the safest high-speed sports around. The speed of the land yacht is largely determined by the strength of the wind, the size of the sail and the mass of the pilot. Recreational land yachts generally reach speeds of up to 35 mph, while competition land yachts have been known to exceed 70 mph.
Using yachting principles and techniques, participants travel over land in a three-wheeled craft with a wind surfing sail, which the pilot controls with his hands and feet – hands controlling the sail and feet controlling the steering. Most land yachts are manufactured from lightweight carbon fiber materials. With one wheel in the front and two at the back, the land yacht sits low to the ground with the pilot seated in a semi-reclining position. Land yachts, as with most wind-powered craft, do not have a brake and are slowed down by heading into the wind.
Land yachting requires a very large, open, flat surface. Some of the best locations for land yachting include wide beaches, preferably at low tide when the sand is firm, and abandoned aerodromes. In colder countries, frozen lakes are popular venues. The harder the surface, the easier it is to control the yacht. The sport of land yachting is suitable for anyone over the age of 16 years – male or female – and requires no previous sailing experience. Basic skills can be gained in about 10 minutes and, under the watchful eye of the instructor and kitted out in safety gear; novice pilots soon experience the thrill of speed. Once the pilot is confident with handling the land yacht, there are a number of challenging and exciting maneuvers that can be mastered. Land yacht competitions are held on beaches, dry lake surfaces and frozen lakes in many countries around the world. Scotland offers some superb spots to pursue this exciting sport.