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Thu., July 17, 2014, 7:10 a.m.

Montana man lands sailing title in Nevada desert

LAND SAILING -- John Eisenlohr of Lakeside, Mont., raced across Nevada desert Wednesday to victory in one of the competitive mini-yacht classes in the Landsaiiling World Championships.  He won the title in a sleek, silver rig he built using parts from hardware stores, beating out racers who crafted boats with marine parts.

Eisenlohr is among hundreds of sailing enthusiasts competing at Smith Creek Dry Lake in Lander County, Nevada.

According to a Reno Gazette-Journal story by Benjamin Spillman, it’s just the third time since 1990 the global event has been held in the United States, and it could be decades before it returns.

Yachts travel at high speeds -- approaching 100 mph in some classes -- with pilots reclined in a small seat within a few inches of the ground. Often the only protective gear on the pilot is a helmet and goggles.

"The remote location and harsh, unpredictable conditions are pushing competitors to their limits, both in terms of logistics and racing skills, Spillman said.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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