Video: How to get your sailing fix in the desert

It’s a sensation not uncommon to the sailing enthusiast. You’re stuck in an office hundreds of miles inland and so busy there’s no way of escaping to the ocean to flex your seafaring muscles. Well thanks to the rise in popularity of land or desert sailing, this may no longer be an issue.

This incredibly fun looking sport was brought to Boat International’s attention by Sperry Top-Sider’s Odyssey Project. The boat shoe company sent Fiona Graham and Jennah Caster, of marine science website Waterlust, to the Mojave desert to try it out. 

Taking place, somewhat fittingly, in a dried up lake basin, the women were strapped into low-slung tricycles attached to traditional sailing masts. With no pedals or other means of propulsion, land sailing mimics the real thing by relying entirely on the power of the wind for transportation - so could this be a rival to even the best water toys?

As the documentary video shows, Fiona and Jennah may think so. “Once we were all set up, the wind really started to pick up,” Fiona told Sperry. “We hopped onto our goofy little carts and were soon skimming across the cracked, dusty surface of a dried-up lake with wind in our sails and happiness in our hearts. Who knew we could have this much fun without a drop of water in sight?”

Watch the desert sailing documentary above

But, while undeniably thrilling, for two women who are used to spending all their time around water this extreme environment also brought home a few less comfortable truths. “This Odyssey forced me to rethink my perspective on what water might mean to others around the world,” explained Jennah. “At Waterlust, we have backgrounds in marine science, but have yet to focus our attention toward lack of water issues. This trip opened our minds to the idea of pursuing issues such as droughts, water usage and clean water access.”

Fancy having a go yourself? To find out more about land sailing and the Sperry Odyssey Project visit odyssey.sperry.com

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