H A V A N A . _ German pilot and member of Cuba‘s Hemingway I n t e r n a t i o n a l Sailing Club, Roger Klüh has confirmed his intention to break the speed record for a sea crossing between Key West in the U.S. and the bay of Havana.
Klüh, who will make his crossing next August 1st, told the Prensa Latina news agency that this was a dream he wanted to fulfil, adding that he had the requisite piloting experience in the type of vessel to be used.
Along with three other crew members on the Apache Star, the former professional ice-hockey player will make his attempt to break a record set back in the 1958 American Power Boat Association sponsored speedboat race between Miami and Havana, thought to be the longest of that time.
On that occasion, in a time of 6 hours, 23 minutes, Tooky crew member Forest E. Jonson broke the previous record of 9 hours, 23 minutes set in 1922 by Gard Wood in his Silver Wolf vessel, for the 254 miles distance between both cities with a stopover in Key West.
The German thirty-year veteran speedboat pilot added that “the Apache Star is a robust craft with the technology to withstand high seas and although I don‘t have a prediction, you can say that breaking the record will not be a very complicated task.”
The boat is inspired by Apache Heritage 50, which has won two world championships and is decked out with ultra-modern equipment. It is also one of the most famous vessels of this type in the United States.
Klüh, who describes himself as a sportsman, stated that “I have waited three and a half years“ because U.S. laws had prevented departure from the U.S. until „developments in December 2014 opened a window of opportunity for the realization of my dream.“
“I am now in possession of all the requisite U.S. authorities special licenses, including one from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). I have just started on the ordinary Coast Guard permits process which should take a few weeks,” he added.
Asked why he had chosen the Cayo Hueso-Havana Bay route, he replied that “my reason for taking up the challenge is that I fell in love with this country and its people having paid a visit to Cuba with my girlfriend.“
In closing, Roger Klüh thanked the management of the Hemingway International Sailing Club for their support with his quest and expressed his desire to contribute to the establishment of a powerboat classic between the U.S. and Cuba.Share on FB Share on TT