Hidden Belgium: Sand Yachting at De Panne

Hidden Belgium: Sand Yachting at De Panne

When the wind is right, you can ride a sand yacht along a 30-kilometre stretch of wide sandy beach between De Panne and Dunkirk.

The sport was brought to the Belgian coast in 1898 by André Dumont and his seven brothers. André launched the idea by attaching a sail to a wooden go-kart. The sport caught on. In 1927, François Dumont established the Sand Yacht Club (the name in English to add a touch of snob appeal).

The sleek land yachts can reach speeds of over 125km/h on one of the best beaches in the world for the sport.

You can sign up online (rsyc.be) for a private lesson run by the Royal Sand Yacht School. Or get together with some friends for a group session out on the sands.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.

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