WIND. It is a powerful force often overlooked and underestimated by most land dwellers. Those who venture out in sailboats understand, respect and depend upon the power it delivers to drive their craft, be it for an afternoon sail on the bay or an around the world race.
As a longtime sailor, I have come to recognize the potential wind has for driving vessels not only on water, but on land as well. Land yachts enjoy the reduced resistance that wheels provide over hard ground, enabling them to reach amazingly high speeds. In March 1999, the land yacht Iron Duck was propelled to an incredible new world land yacht speed record of 116.7 mph!
The current wind-powered land distance record is listed in the 2000 Guinness Book of Records as the Transat des Sables race, which was held in the Mauritania desert from March 8 to March 18, 1997. It was competed by sand yachts, kite yachts and speed-sails. Yachters had to cover 60-120 miles daily, which required 6-8 hours of sailing every day, which would total between 660 and 1320 total miles, or more likely a figure around 1000 miles for the ones that finished.
My project, ‘Streetsail Across America,’ aims to smash that record by completing a wind-powered voyage across the Great Plains of America from the Mexican border at Brownsville, Texas to the Canadian Border in North Dakota. The estimated distance of approximately 2181 miles would be acknowledged by Guinness World Records as a new World Record.
Over the past year I have conducted extensive feasibility research and am confident this goal can be achieved if taken with a logical, systematic and open-minded approach. Like the AIG ad says: "The greatest risk is not taking one. It takes courage to do something that's never been done before - to attempt a feat that goes beyond conventional thinking. It also takes planning and a complete understanding of all the problems that may arise."
The following information details the project that you should find intriguing and full of possibilities.