Winds returned with vengeance at Landsailing Worlds
Published on July 14th, 2014
Smith Creek Playa, NV (July 14, 2014) – After a windless day on Sunday, the breeze returned with a vengeance today at Smith Creek Playa, serving up exciting racing for the 40+ International 5.6 Mini Yacht sailors from around the world.
From a calm start in the morning, the wind built to a crescendo with blinding dust and light rain in the early afternoon, then slackened somewhat to allow racing. Wind direction and velocity changes, even on individual legs of the course throughout the afternoon, made for challenging and exciting sailing.
The return of the wind today permitted five full races, so more than the minimum number of three races for a regatta have been completed. The Mini Yachts are scheduled for another half day of racing tomorrow (Tuesday), so we hope the wind will cooperate.
The 5.6 Mini Yacht class has few rules and allows for a lot of innovation. The major rule concerns the “platform” of the land yacht. All wheels (presumably three) of the vehicle must fit within a continuous loop of small diameter rope 5.6 meters long laid on a flat surface when the land yacht is at rest. So, these are relatively small vehicles. However, there is no limit on sail area, so sailors can use different sails for different wind velocities, making sail selection a critical factor.
A few trends were evident on this first day of actual 5.6 Mini racing at the Landsailing Worlds. First, reducing drag is very important. Most of the leaders were lying down fairly far aft (increasing righting moment and rear wheel traction) in yachts with streamlined bodies and, in some cases, wheel pants and fully-enclosed front wheels. Moreover, on one or two advanced machines, the boom is very close to the deck, creating the “deck sealing” effect and increasing sail efficiency. Thus, the “arms race” is on in this exciting, but no longer inexpensive, class.
Click here for results after five races.
Race dates: International 5.6 Mini, July 13 to 15
Race dates: All others, July 15 (pm) to 19
Event website: http://www.nalsa.org/Worlds2014Splash.html
Photo: Carels Photography, http://www.pbase.com/waltercarels/wc14press
Report by event media.