On vacation by the sea, practice a Nautic activity is essential! Those who don't have sea legs can try their hand at sand yachting in Royan. On the destination, several clubs offer this sliding sport on the beaches of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne, Saint-Palais-sur-Mer and Meschers-sur-Gironde.

Where to do sand yachting near Royan?

To practice the yachting on Destination Royan Atlantique, head for the long fine sandy beaches! These are perfect spots to discover this sliding sport even as a beginner.

  • À Saint-palais-sur-mer, the activity is exerted on the Grande Côte beach, inside a dedicated space 500 meters long.
  • À Saint-Georges-de-Didonne, the sand yacht rubs against the very hard sand of the Grande Plage. It allows a great finesse of piloting and allows to progress quickly. The Morandière brothers (Aurélien and Alban), several times World Champions in the discipline, made their debut there some twenty years ago.
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Ultimately, the sand yacht is a sport accessible to all. From the age of 8, you can have a lot of fun. Indeed, in a few minutes, a beginner understands how a sand yacht works. The pilot is seated in the machine carried by the wind. The effort he has to provide is limited to managing the trajectory and exerting traction on the sail with his arm. Very quickly, the first sensations are there.

Destination Royan Atlantique clubs offer internships and discovery sessions throughout the year. Of the state-certified instructors are present to give you advice and support you.

History of sand yachting in Royan 

In spring 1935, the “Royano” air-beach » piloted by Leonce Bobrie, one of the automotive pioneers based in Saintes, got hitched in an area of ​​dry sand at La Grande Conche! The accident, following an uncontrolled skid that occurred while testing the vehicle by the sea, was not serious. But it earned his passenger and wife a short stay at Bordeaux hospital for a routine examination. The machine unveiled on the famous Royan beach is the great ancestor of our contemporary sand yachts.

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thierry avan

Its general mechanics and its main attributes, although still rudimentary, are already in place on the prototype designed by the Charente entrepreneur. Léonce Bobrie has, in fact, reproduced the system of air beaches invented by the northern aviator Louis Bleriot who had popularized this means of locomotion just before the First World War. The latter was himself first inspired by the models of Dumont, one of the pioneers in the construction of the first sand yachts at the beginning of the XNUMXth century.

The four-seater, made of steel tube, thus rested on three wheels: one at the rear directly connected by cables to a steering wheel, and a train of two at the front, arranged at each end of an axle. which also supported a mast four meters high, flanked by a quadrangular sail woven by a craftsman from the station. This model, now the property of the Charente-Maritime Departmental Sailing Committee (CDCV 17), is kept at Saint-Georges-de-Didonne and stay the oldest sand yacht in roadworthy condition in France.

In 1935, Royan was not at his first attempt. Indeed, in 1912, Jules Moine had already won one of the first 2 events organized at the Grande Conche. This mechanic in cycles and automobiles had designed a two-seater aeroplane from an assembly of tubes intended for the manufacture of bicycle frames...

Operation of the sand yacht

More than a century later, this architecture has remained the same, with a few notable exceptions. There steering wheel, now positioned at the front of the device, is controlled by a rudder. The pilot operates this rudder with his feet to steer (some ranges are still equipped with a steering wheel). 

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The orientation of rigging and its degree of exposure to the wind are determined by the tension that the conductor produces by means of a 60 centimeter rope: " listen in the lingo. He pulls it or releases it depending on whether he wishes to give power to his machine or slow it down. When he pulls on the sheet, the sail approaches the axis of the tank. It then inflates which allows the tank to move forward.

Finally, the old soap boxes of yesteryear have given way to axles made of composite materials. The frame is made of aluminum covered with a profiled polyester shell like a rocket to penetrate the air well. The speed of a tank? On land, she can reach up to twice the wind speed ! It is the vehicle that moves the fastest thanks to this source of energy.

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