On Sunday 19th March a couple of our members went to the beach in St Annes. The Land Yacht Club were scheduled to hold an event that day and there are also usually a few birds and kite surfers around to provide additional interest.
Sadly for us the day turned out to be very calm with the wind never reaching 15kts so the kite surfers stayed home and not many land yacht sailors showed up. To cap it all there were lots of gulls but the Sandpipers and Turnstones stayed away.
Not deterred we had a go anyway.
There is a major regatta in the autumn and we don’t get many chances to practice. Land yachts present a number of challenges to the photographer in that the pilots lie very close to the ground and are obscured by the sails and rigging and the sails are very tall. This causes a lot of framing problems or if positive give different options.
The other issue is that the yachts move quickly and over a bumpy surface so issues like focusing and shutter speed are a challenge. If you drag the shutter to show movement you close the aperture and the background gets distracting. If you pan with the yacht the vertical bumping means you end up with nothing sharp.
As luck would have it we met Ian Dibden one of the pilots we had spoken to and photographed last year and he was keen to do some runs for us to practice on. We also had the gulls to try slow shutter shots with so in the end it turned out to be a very enjoyable outing and we learned a lot that will come in useful for the main event later this year.
If you get the chance go to on of the Land Yacht events. The people are very friendly and there is a café for lunch of coffee and cake.