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Monday, January 13, 2014

Land Sailing World Championships, 2014

Where are we going for the World Land Sailing Championship?

Smith Creek Playa, NV which starts July 13, 2014

The overview from Seattle to Austin NV.

A look at the nearest town from the race site

A closer look at the road feeding in to the site.

The shortest access road to the lake bed visible from Google Maps from the highway.
Prepare for dust on this road!

Entry for April 17, 2014

The infamous 1973-74 Oil Embargo caused a big problem for Oakland, California-based hang glider manufacturers Alan Dimen and Russ Thompson. In late 1973, the shortages and rising prices of gasoline and the resulting uncertainty caused many customers to suddenly stop buying their popular Manta hang gliders.
Faced with rapidly-declining sales and a big stock of the aircraft tubing and parts used in the gliders, they needed a new product – and quickly! Thus was born the Manta Windjammer land yacht, now commonly called the Manta Single.
First produced in early 1974, the Manta Single is arguably the oldest continuously-manufactured one-design land yacht in the world. Its aircraft-like quality, light weight, portability, ruggedness, ease of use and reasonable cost made it popular from the outset. In the early days, hundreds were produced, and many were shipped to international customers.
The design will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year and be featured as a one-design class at the FISLY-NALSA 14th Landsailing World Championship (the Worlds) to be held July 12-19, 2014 at Smith Creek Playa near the town of Austin in Northern Nevada.
NALSA, the North American Land Sailing Association, will host the event and is the U.S. Affiliate of FISLY, the International Federation of Sand and Land Yachts, the world governing body for competitive land sailing.
One design classes must adhere to strict ‘as-built-by-the-factory’ specifications and emphasize sailor (pilot) ability, not experimental design. They are popular because the designs are constant, offer a pure test of sailing ability and do not create an expensive innovation ‘arms race’.
While the Manta Single has enjoyed steady but moderate sales, its popular two-seater sibling, the Twinjammer (Manta Twin) introduced in 1976 and also a one-design, has outsold the Single by a 10-to-1 ratio for many years and regularly fields the largest fleets at U.S. landsailing regattas.
The Manta Twins are expected to vie with a new development (experimental) class, the International 5.6 Mini, for largest fleet at the regatta.
At the Worlds, Manta Singles and Twins will both play important roles as charter yachts for international competitors who are unable to bring their own land yachts but want to sail in the regatta. The competition is expected to be fierce in both classes, with skilled contestants from a number of countries sailing essentially identical land yachts.
Click on headline for full report and photos.

Entry for Feb. 20 2014

During the 2014 Landsailing World Championship, which will be held July 12-19 near Austin, Nevada in the USA, there will be several classes gathering to kick dirt on Smith Creek Playa. However, it could be a relatively new class – the International 5.6 Mini – that turns heads with its simplicity and rapid worldwide growth.
The 5.6 Mini has deceptively uncomplicated design rules that allow a lot of innovation. The most interesting rule concerns the platform of the vehicle. Specifically, when the land yacht is on a flat surface, the lower portion of all tires (presumably three) must fit inside a continuous length of small diameter rope 5.6 meters long. This offers the possibility of yachts with long wheelbases and narrow tracks or just the opposite, and everything in between.
Interestingly, the rules do not specify how the 5.6 Mini races will start. The vehicles are small and maneuverable enough, however, that most 5.6 Mini regattas now feature rolling starts, which is very unusual in land yachting.
Smith Creek Playa is very wide compared to beach race courses. As a result, the race committee can optimize the length and depth of the “starting box” in which the Mini yachts circulate during the timed countdown to the start. “We believe Smith Creek’s size offers us the opportunity to have the best big-fleet starts ever held for the 5.6 Mini Class,” stated Dennis Bassano, President of NALSA, the host organization for the regatta.
The 5.6 Mini rules do not mention sail area, which also is unusual, because virtually all other land yacht classes have sail area restrictions. This non-rule means that heavier sailors can use a larger sail if it suits them and essentially permits unlimited sail area, an exciting prospect.
The rules do not specifically prohibit streamlined bodies and “wheel pants” so these features also are increasingly seen on Minis as innovators figure out ways to reduce aerodynamic drag.
It is the simplicity of the class rules that opens the door for some very interesting vehicles, and it is expected that this development class will put on quite a show at the Landsailing World Championship.
Click on headline for full report, photos, and video.

Entry #1  Jan. 20, 2014 

We are following the 7 "P"s for covering this event.  Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

The event or McGuffin (the event a film revolves around in a Hitchcock film) is the NALSA Worlds.

Here are a couple of articles that have come out already in Scuttlebutt.

click for Land Sailors like it Smooth

click on this to see announcement of Worlds, good video

The Cast:

The players that have signed UP for the road trip from Seattle to Austin NV are Count Enrico Ferrari (CF), The Rear Admiral (RA), and our art director (AD) whose name is not included until he sells the idea to his wife.

Discussion of leisure name for the AD:

I suspect your name will evolve enroute.  You have a reading assignment, if you haven't read it already.  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson.

One needs the proper attitude on a road trip.  As per all trips, it is not the destination but the journey that is all.

Your name, if not evidenced pre-trip will surface through some action or inaction in your service of the Count or Rear Admiral.

We go on this quest for a reason, some think we go to be shed of our wives for a bit, some think we go to see sails on land, there are many reasons to see new sights but the best is it makes one feel grand!

The Mission Statement:

Road trips have a sense of adventure, a sense of journey as opposed to arriving.  Doing the exploration of the universe as much as possible given the resources of a car and a road.

We all have those we hold in reverence and awe.  As a newbie freelance writer the Count has his ideal to try and live up to.  The journalistic hero we love to love:  (While we are not going to LV, we will be close and on a journalistic mission.)  For the Count to find a level of excellence that Hunter S. Thompson he needs to get out there and do it!

Click to watch a trailer from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

How we will travel:

We will take the Count's ride as it has the best AC.  Three boys of AARP age will fit with gear comfortably in this.  We have reservations in Austin for three night in a very odd motel made of manufactured housing units.  Photos to follow.
The S-500 Uboat.

The duties:

The three of us are as follows and  assignments will be adjusted  as needed.

CF:  The nominal journalist and lead coordinator.  Made Motel reservations.  
RA:  Photographer and naviguesser, Head nerd, and other duties to be thought of.
AD:  Lead biker, inspiration for road trip, experimenter with hear aids and will be admonished to keep his phone off while in the presence of CF.


Get an article or two published promoting the event in as many venues as will take them.

Get some time sailing a landsailer

Compete in a landsailing event

Have a breakdown free road trip

Document our own landsailing efforts with video and stills.

Create a demand for our unique coverage of events so we are requested for other cool events, eg... Antigua Race Week, the Pro Am regatta at the Bitter End YC in the Virgin Islands, guest racers on the back of the AC foiling 45s for the upcoming America's Cup World Series in multiple cities

Current plans:

Depart Seattle in the AM , hopefully take lunch at the taco bus in Yakima WA.

Arrive in Oregon somewhere for the night 

Arrive in Fallon NV for the Day 2 evening 

Drive to the NALSA Worlds event site (2 hours) for Day 3 and introduce ourselves and sail a bit.  Go on to Austin NV for our motel reservation for the night.

Return to event site on Day 4, sail more, interview the rockstars and beginners, get hopes and aspirations for the event.  Return to Austin for evening.

Repeat previous day but add racing to that, hopefully as this is the first day of racing and our last day on the lake bed.  Need to do all our photo work by then as well as gathering of info.

Depart on AM of Day 6 toward Seattle with intermediate stop somewhere with ice and cool drinks.

Arrive in Seattle and dump my compadres on the beach in front of the Bainbridge (Braindamage) Island WA State Ferry.  Head home to Griffin Hill.  Get car detailed!

FAQ for Land Sailing:

Needed equipment to bring along:

motorcycle helmets
sailing gloves
photo gear including Go Pro and mount/s
Cooler (2?)
umbrella (sun shade)
dust masks

Types of Land Yachts:

Who is coming?

So far (as of 1/24/14) click to see entry page

There are 118 interested pilots with 60 who live in Europe, 5 from South America, 5 from down under (Aus. and NZ) with the USA making up the rest.

What classes?

FISLY Class 2:  Specs for FISLY Class 2

Click to see a Class 3 that will go 80+ MPH

A Class 3 with suspension and car tires in rear

Manta Single:

Manta - Windjammer and Twinjammer Landsailer
Manta Single
Manta Twin

A very stock Mini

A highly evolved Mini?  I am unclear as of Jan. 20, 2014

Promo:  '

A Promo class land yacht

Photo: K703
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Stamdart from the UK

Sirocco:  (so far none of these are registered unless it maybe meets a I- 5.6 meter measurement)
three landyachts.jpg (567×574)
Sirocco single (~$2800 US)

One of the latest creations from $2800-$3500 for a twin.
We may see a few of these.  Here is the pricing and a photo page.

It appears to breakdown to fit in a trunk.


A very fun quote right off the page of the Sirocco Twin!  Click for page

T001e.jpg (768×1024)
Sirocco Twin (~$3500 US)

Great to see them take safety to where it needs to be!

 If you hit something or somebody, electrocute yourself, get run down on the highway or otherwise do something careless or stupid that hurts you as a pilot or a bystander, we don't want to hear about it.  Darwin refers to this process as "natural selection". 
Follow this link for examples of the above kind of actions.

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