Northern France Tourism : official website

Land yachting at sunset, Le Touquet

The origins of land yachting

This sport first began to develop in Hardelot in 1909, with the first official land yachting race. Louis Blériot owned a villa there. He was fascinated by this machine on four wheels with a sail that practically flew, invented in 1898 by the Belgian, André Dumont. Louis decided to improve it and launched the ‘aéroplage’. Hardelot hosted the first international rally in 1913! After the war, the sport just took off in Le Touquet. Henry Demoury, an engineering graduate from the ‘Arts et Métiers’ school, improved the fabulous sail wagons, transforming them into the land yachts of today. “He was the first to think scientifically about land yachting. He became the French champion in 1971, at the age of 78!” enthuses Pascal Fourlégnie, vice president of the Blériot Club in Le Touquet.

A postcard of a land yacht in Berck-sur-Mer
  • A postcard of a land yacht in Berck-sur-Mer
  • © Jean-Max GONSEAUME

The Blériot Club in Le Touquet

The oldest land yachting club in France, established in 1956, is located in the heart of the water sports centre in the south. The first French European Championships took place here in 1973! The Blériot Club has 220 members, so is very friendly. A team of qualified instructors offer lessons adapted to the level of each participant, so that the joys of controlling the yachts can be discovered by all. It is also a breeding ground for champions. The daughters of Bertrand Lambert, who died in 2013 (European and World champion, and the world speed record holder in 1991 with 151.55 km/h!) train here throughout the year. The Blériot Club has been called ‘The Bertrand Lambert Channel Water Sports Centre’ since 2014.

Land yachts on Le Touquet beach
  • Land yachts on Le Touquet beach
  • © Anne-Sophie Flament
Hardelot hosted the first official land yachting race in 1909.

« Riding a yacht »

Riding a yacht across the beaches of Nord-Pas de Calais  

Yachting spots in Berck-sur-Mer and elsewhere

Dunkirk, Gravelines, les Hemmes de Marck, Wimereux, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Hardelot, Camiers, Stella-Plage, and Berck-sur-Mer (the famous ‘Les Drakkars’ club) are all vast beaches with land yachting clubs available. The sport is open to all. You can start from the age of 7 or 8 on a class 5 yacht, and then slowly progress to faster yachts. The most well-known is class 3. It is the Formula 1 of yachts, with its streamlined silhouette and speed! A lot of the larger and more comfortable class 2 yachts are also used in the north of France and Belgium. A sense of freedom and excitement is guaranteed!

Land yachts on the beach at Boulogne-sur-Mer
  • Land yachts on the beach at Boulogne-sur-Mer
  • © Anne-Sophie Flament
Les soeurs Lambert, du vent dans les voiles !

Together with her sister, Clémence, they are continuing the Lambert saga started by their father, a land yachting Champion. At 22 and 19, they too are amassing titles. Senior French Champion in 2012 and 2013 (Clémence), European...

Useful addresses

Pas de Calais Departmental Land Yachting Committee

This brings together the 4 FFCV accredited clubs, 2 EFCV accredited schools and two college sports departments approved by the Ministry of Education

Nord-Pas de Calais Land Yachting League

The main clubs

‘Les Drakkars’ club in Hardelot, ‘Le Blériot Club’ (The Bertrand Lambert Channel Water Sports Centre) in Le Touquet and l'Eole Club in Berck-sur-Mer.