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How a Boat-Plane Hybrid Shattered the Sound Barrier of Sailing

 As we get closer to what is one of the world’s most perfect speed-sailing areas, I scan the shore. It’s featureless save for two small shelters. We motor our zodiac toward the remote beach until we have to kill the outboard and tilt it up to spare the prop. The five of us jump overboard into the waist-deep water, following our guide, Paul Larsen, who is wading toward the shore. The wind howls in our faces, blowing so much sand that it runs down the beach in rivulets, like rain across a windshield. We climb up on the beach, jellyfish at our feet as thick as paving stones. “This is it. This is the Bonneville Salt Flats of speed sailing!” Larsen shouts, gesturing to the water just off the sandbar. The flying sand sticks to our teeth, turning the insides of our mouths to 600-grit with every word. “We’ll have to shovel out the timing hut,” Larsen says, peering into the primitive shelter he built years ago and pointing out animal tracks inside. “Jackal,” he concludes.

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