What Is Land Sailing: An Introduction to Thrilling Wind-Powered Buggies
, 2022-09-29 16:34:31,
Spend some time at Ivanpah Dry Lake, nestled in the northern end of the Mojave National Preserve about 30 minutes from Vegas, and you might start to see things. Here on the Pleistocene playa, the lake bed is cracked yet coated with a smooth sheen; the post-apocalyptic setting of mountain-fringed nothingness both dusty and, in the clashing temperatures, veiled with a watery mirage. So much so that when you see the land yachts—curious three-wheeled wind-powered buggies slicing through the nothingness with shark-like fins—you might believe they’re actual sailboats.
And depending on when you visit, you may even spot an influx of boats that don’t float. Because unlike other dry lake beds in the area—utilized year-round for everything from off-road adventures to camping to art-festival shenanigans to filming movies like Casino—the Bureau of Land Management takes measures to preserve Ivanpah for the use of non-motorized wind craft. It’s thus considered one of the smoothest landsailing courses in the world, akin to ice boating’s frozen lakes. And with winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour, it’s a regular destination for adrenaline junkies participating in elite regattas like the America’s Land Sailing Cup, a multi-vehicle competition put on by the North American Land Sailing Association, as well as the solo-style Blokart Worlds (it rhymes with go-cart).
It was here…
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