Land Sailors Compete Alongside AC Sailors

Published on August 3rd, 2013

Santa Cruz, CA (August 2, 2013) – Santa Cruz’s Dennis Bassano and the North American Land Sailing Association will show off their land yachts this weekend as part of the AC Open, which is running parallel to the America’s Cup, in San Francisco.

Bassano, who is president of NALSA, and others will compete in three races on both Saturday and Sunday at America’s Cup Park, located at Piers 27/29, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

The land sailors of NALSA will then square off against America’s Cup sailors at 3:30 p.m. An awards ceremony will follow at 4 p.m.

“It’s kind of a big deal for us to be going up there and being a part of the America’s Cup,” said Bassano, who will be competing in the races.

Santa Cruz County residents Warren Sampson and Rod Eicholz are also expected to compete, while resident Alan Wirtanen will be in attendance to show off a larger land-sailing boat.

The event, which is the first of 16 planned for the AC Open between Saturday and Aug. 25, will feature the three-wheeled sand yachts cruising atop the San Francisco pier. Other event races scheduled in August include stand-up paddleboarding and kiteboarding.

“We’re going around the same courses as the America’s Cup boats and playing the same game,” Johnny Heineken, a champion kiteboarder, said to americascup.com.

With obstacles like the America’s Cup’s VIP pavilion to maneuver around, however, the land sailors will only be slightly out of their usual element.

The normal track for land sailing is often a desert or a beach.

“So it’ll be interesting for us,” Bassano said.

The exposure should only help the sport, which is gearing up for the 2014 Landsailing World Championships in Nevada next year.

“It’s a great opportunity for us,” Bassano said.

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