The presence of a Cuban delegation for the first time at the Miami International Boat Show -- one of the world’s largest marine fairs – running in the southern U.S city between February 11-15, compliments the growth in the tourist industry.

Cuban representatives will be led by Commodore José Miguel Díaz Escrich, director of the Hemingway International Club of Cuba and one of the principal drivers of this type of tourism on the island.

The presence of a Cuban delegation for the first time at the Miami International Boat Show -- one of the world’s largest marine fairs – running in the southern U.S city between February 11-15, compliments the growth in the tourist industry.Participation at the event will also promote the first race from the North American city to Cuba, another of many firsts resulting from the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S.

Commodore Escrich told The Havana Reporter that in addition to attending the Miami International Boat Show, one of the more important new events on his agenda was the Miami- Havana Regatta, commencing February 10, with race leaders arriving at Havana’s Hemingway Marina the following day.

This is the first event in the recreational boating history of both nations which will link the two cities.

The Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba will be the host to the 58 boats registered for the race, organized in Florida by the Coral Reef Yacht Club and the Southern Ocean Racing Conference, whose directors spoke with Scrich during his visit.

The Commodore’s work since the foundation of the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba on May 21st, 1992 is well known in the U.S.

His efforts have ensured that the Hemingway Club remains on friendly terms with dozens of yacht clubs, sail boat associations and other nautical institutions in the U.S., such as the Coral Reef Yacht Club, the Southern Ocean Racing Conference, the Lauderdale Yacht Club, the Key West Yacht Club and the Key West Community Sailing Center, all in Florida.

The list also includes the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) and the Seven Seas Cruising Association, the largest sailing body in the world -- both represented in Cuba by Escrich – and the Texas Mariner Cruising Association.

On May 21st, 2015, Escrich signed a Friendship Accord with the Stuart Sailfish Club, an institution celebrating 75 years since its foundation.

The delegation leader has reportedly received confirmation of the presence of U.S. teams in the 66th Ernest Hemingway International Marlin Fishing Tournament, scheduled to run from June 13-28.

Escrich expects the June tournament to have the largest number of U.S. participants in recent years. In 1999, 50 North American teams took part and statistics show that the greatest number of these fishermen came in 1978 and 1979.

The Cuba delegation also established friendly ties to a number of yacht clubs such as Sarasota Yacht Club and the St. Petersburg Yacht Club in west Florida.

The latter has a long standing connection with U.S.-Cuban sailing history, dating back to the St. Petersburg-Havana Regattas that were held from the early 1930s to the late 1950s.

Commodore Escrich is also an Associate Member of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, a body incorporating almost 80% of U.S. marine businesses and owner of some 20 trade shows in the U.S., one of which is the Miami International Boat Show.

Escrich’s tour of the U.S. promoting Cuban sailing included a visit to Pensacola, where he was welcomed by Alan C. McMillan, Commodore of the Pensacola Yacht Club and organizer of the Pensacola-Havana Regatta that finished in the Hemingway Marina last October.

The Cuban sailing ambassador was also a guest, along with the Commodores of 43 yacht clubs from Texas to Tampa, at the Gulf Yachting Association’s AGM, where he was bestowed the title of Honorary Member of the Gulf Yachting Association.

Last year the Hemingway International Yacht Club hosted five sailing events in conjunction with yacht clubs and institutions from the U.S., which included the Havana Challenge Race and the Pensacola-Havana Regatta.

Twelve measures were announced last year as part of the normalization of relations between the two countries, under which Washington permits U.S. registered boats to sail to Cuba.

These measures permit a stay in Cuba of up to 14 days and as a result, the Hemingway Club received applications from 20 nautical entities in the U.S. to host sailing regattas, power boat races, academic workshops and fishing tournaments with North American participation.

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