Land sailing, also known as sand yachting or land yachting, is the act of moving across land in a wheeled vehicle powered by wind through the use of a sail. The term comes from analogy with (water) sailing. Historically, land sailing was used as a mode of transportation or recreation. Since the 1950s it has evolved primarily into a racing sport.
Vehicles used in sailing are known as sail wagons, sand yachts, or land yachts. They are typically three-wheeled vehicles that function much like a sailboat, except that they are operated from a sitting or lying position and steered by pedals or hand levers. Land sailing works best in windy, flat areas, and races often take place on beaches, air fields, and dry lake beds in desert regions. Modern land sailors, generally known as "pilots," can go three to four times faster than the wind speed, because of Bernoulli's principle. A gust of wind is considered more beneficial in a land sailing race than a favorable windshift. A similar sport, known as ice yachting, is practised on frozen lakes and rivers. Another variation is the Whike, which combines land sailing with bicycling and can therefore also be used in everyday traffic because it does not fully depend on wind.
History: The earliest known use of land yachts was in Ancient Egypt, where they were apparently built for leisure. The Chinese had "wind-driven carriages" since the 6th century AD, during the Liang Dynasty, and eventually mounted masts and sails on large wheelbarrows. The precursor to the modern land yacht was invented in the 16th century by the Flemish scientist Simon Stevin in Flanders as a commission for Prince Maurice of Orange. It was used by Prince Maurice for entertaining his guests. In 1898, the Dumont brothers of De Panne, Belgium, developed a land yacht whose sails were based on contemporary Egyptian sailboats used on the Nile River. The first races were held on the beaches of Belgium and France in 1909. Land yachts were also used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to transport goods on dry lakes in the United States. The modern land yacht, a three-wheeled polyester/fibreglass and metal cart, often with a wing-mast and relatively rigid (full-batten) sails, has been used since 1960.
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Ice yachting is the sport of sailing and racing iceboats, also called ice yachts. It is practiced in Great Britain, Poland, Norway and Sweden, to some extent, and is very popular in the Netherlands and on the Gulf of Finland, but its highest development is in the United States and Canada. The Dutch ice yacht is a flat-bottomed boat resting crossways upon a planking about three feet wide and sixteen long, to which are affixed four steel runners, one each at bow, stern and each end of the planking. The rudder is a fifth runner fixed to a tiller. Heavy mainsails and jibs are generally used and the boat is built more for safety than for speed. The iceboat of the Gulf of Finland is a V-shaped frame with a heavy plank running from bow to stern, in which the mast is stepped. The stern or steering runner is worked by a tiller or wheel. The sail is a large lug and the boom and gaff are attached to the mast by travelers. The passengers sit upon planks or rope netting. The Russian boats are faster than the Dutch.
A kite buggy is a light, purpose-built vehicle powered by a traction kite (power kite). It is single-seated and has one steerable front wheel and two fixed rear wheels. The driver sits in the seat located in the middle of the vehicle and accelerates and slows down by applying steering manoeuvres in coordination with flying manoeuvres of the kite. This activity is called kite buggying. The speed achieved in kite buggies by skilled drivers can range up to around 110 km/h (70 mph), hence protective clothing, including a safety helmet, is commonly worn.
Kiteboarding may refer to several sports that use a kite for propulsion while riding a board, including.
Land windsurfing is similar to windsurfing but performed on land. Boards with wheels and a mast base attachment are used. It is often called land boarding , streetsailing or dirt windsurfing.
Wind-powered vehicles have traditionally been associated with seafaring vehicles that, until the advent of steam engines, relied primarily upon winds which were used to drove the sails of such vehicles to their destinations. In the Western world, such sail-based wind propulsion on water persists in the modern day within primarily leisurely confines, such as sailing boats, sailing ships, yachting, and windsurfing. However, terrestrial sail-based wind propulsion in the form of land sailing and land windsurfing are also popular recreational activities.
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