Pilots representing 15 countries and four continents with more than 200 land yachts are expected to be on hand Saturday for the opening ceremony of the 14th Landsailing World Championship at Smith Creek Playa near Austin.
The world regatta, being hosted by the North American Landsailing Association (NALSA) in conjunction with the International Land and Sandyachting Federation (FISLY), will continue through July 19. Participants will be competing in fleet races in at least eight classes.
The opening ceremony is scheduled from 5-6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Racing begins Sunday at 10 a.m.
Minden’s Mike Grimm is one of about two dozen Northern Nevadans expected to compete on the terrain of their home state.
“Smith Creek is a great site,” Grimm said during an interview earlier this year. “You have a good surface and good wind. The whole valley is beautiful. The views in the Toiyabes are some of the best you’re going to find; it’s one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in Nevada.”
Many international entrants will travel by airplane, then rent vehicles and drive to the playa and unpack their land yachts from containers shipped weeks earlier from their respective countries.
The Frog Sails crew is taking a different approach. Their team bus was transported from Germany by ship, picked up in Baltimore and team members drove west across the country to Northern Nevada.
The Belgian Federation has dedicated the participation of its team to an American soldier from Nevada, Edward R. Smith, (U.S. Army), who died in during World War I on Oct. 31,1918, and is buried at Flanders Field American Cemetery in Waregem, Belgium.