Back on the sands

Wind racing enthusiasts have got the wind back in their sails after a successful rally on St Annes beach.

Sportsmen and women took to their buggies on the sands on Saturday as part of a display organised to show Fylde Council the sport can be run safely on the Fylde coast.

Sandyachting returned to St Annes beach for the first time in 12 years when Fylde Council granted a trial session with a view to restoring the sport to the sands.'Lining up for the start of a race.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'18-10-2014

Sandyachting returned to St Annes beach for the first time in 12 years when Fylde Council granted a trial session with a view to restoring the sport to the sands.'Lining up for the start of a race. PIC BY ROB LOCK'18-10-2014

A ban was placed on the windsport being practised in the area after mother-of-two Carole Cruz tragically lost her life following a sandyachting accident on St Annes beach in 2002.

Now enthusiasts are keen to see the sport return to the sands and to show officials it can be done safely and responsibly.

The event was organised by British Land Sailing with support from the British Land Sail Association.

Organiser Graham Dalzell said: “It was a privilege to be able to come back. It was good fun, but not a mild demonstration.

“We’ve shown these are highly visible, highly manoeuvrable and great fun.

“For a lot of people this has been a long time coming but we’re conscious about what happened and everything is done under the strictest controls.

“It gives you a wonderful buzz.”

Among the 23 taking part on the 300m by 300m stretch this weekend was British champion and Blackpool resident Ian Dibdin.

The 70-year-old, who this year won a British title in the sport 50 years after he clinched his first, said: “We’re glad to be back.”

The demonstration involved mini-yachts of the type already used safely at more than 10 UK beaches and around half the size of those in use at the time of the fatal accident 12 years ago.