Land Sailing Gets a Modern-Day Upgrade From German Automotive Designer

Land Sailing Gets a Modern-Day Upgrade From German Automotive Designer


What you see in the cover photo is not the next Mars rover, but rather a massive upgrade on an already existing sport, ‘land yachting’ or ‘land sailing’. If you don’t know what this sport entails, I’ll be quick. It’s a terrestrial racing sport that uses wind as the sole means of propulsion. Preferably on flat salt surfaces, as any disturbances under the wheels can cause major shifts in weight ratios and distribution.

Imagine a three-wheel vehicle with no motor, maybe some brakes, and a huge sail, like that found on sloops or yachts – hence the title land yacht. Oh, and the sail does include some sort of steering mechanism. That said, we know you’ve pieced together how the whole thing works. You sit back and let the wind take you for a ride. Simple enough, right? If you still don’t get how this port works, Google is there to give you a little more in-depth information. And now let’s take a look at this dream machine from automotive designer Robinson Mancaux.

It’s called the Venturi Y concept. It would be nice if it were made by Monaco-based Venturi Automobiles, but frankly, it’s not their game. Now, if you’ve never seen a land yacht before, this one is a bit of a stretch, but the principles are the same.

Because only the force of the wind is used to push any vehicle of this type along, they need to be ultra-light. And what material do we know of these days that is both strong enough to build a frame with and light enough to be carried by wind? Carbon fiber! That’s right, and lots of it.

Basically, everything on this vehicle is composed of carbon fiber, except maybe for the pulleys used in steering the sail and the tires. Other than that, this is the only material we can see being used. Oh, and a support that holds the seat upright.

Something this concept does include that traditional land yachts do not is steerable wheels. Usually, only the sail is needed to turn the vehicle. But trust me, when you’re going more than 80 mph (128 kph) on nothing but wind, it helps to have any sort of steering mechanism.

Because of the injuries that do surround the sport, the designer chose to install two electric motors in the rear wheels. However, these motors aren’t there to actually propel the vehicle, but rather to help make slight adjustments to trajectory. Why? Let me put it like this.

There are real land sailing yachts that are specifically tuned for breaking speed records. One of the fastest reached speeds of 126 mph (202 kph) on nothing but wind, a massive sail, no brakes, no fancy steering mechanism or motors. At those speeds, it’s a huge plus to have anything that helps in maneuvering. If not, hold on tight and threw in a couple of ‘Hail Marys’ for good measure.

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