Sand yachting: European Championships - Lytham St Annes

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The Independent Online
After a day of practice, the Smirnoff European Championships start in earnest at St Annes on Sunday when 150 pilots take to the sand for a week of competition. Coinciding with neap tides, there will be a mile of open beach. Spring tides this week should leave the sand moist but compact and, importantly, flat

ideal conditions, provided, of course, the wind blows. The world champion, Jean-Phillippe Krischer, who sails for the United States but is based in France, competes in the smaller class V. Mark White, the champion from Bristol, beat him at last year's Europeans. However, there are some very fast Britons moving up the ranks. White came fifth in this year's British Championship, which went to Bryan Norman from Fylde, the host club. Fylde also provides the bulk of the British team and local knowledge is always invaluable.

How to get there: Fylde International Sand Yacht Club, Clifton Drive, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, is three miles south of Blackpool (Tel: 0253-722584). The championship runs until Friday and racing starts at 10am each day.