According to Commodore José Miguel Díaz Escrich, of the Hemingway International Club, if all measures against the island were lifted, more than 60,000 yachts per year could visit Cuba.
Díaz Escrich said at a recent press briefing in Havana that during the last months of 2015 two regattas of U.S. origin took place: the Pensacola- Havana from Oct 31 to November 8 and Key West-Havana from the 17th to the 20th November.
Between those who came on yachts and others who flew in to participate, the Pensacola-Havana regatta brought together more than 200 visitors and 23 yachts from five categories, including the multi-shell category.
This represents the largest presence of North Americans at a Regatta since 1999 at the Hemingway Marina where there were 1,500 people on board 404 leisure boats.
The Hemingway Club - Cuba’s principal recreational water sports entity - has never in the 23 years since its foundation seen anything like its present agenda, with 11 U.S. based regattas in the pipeline for 2016.
It is on the basis of this number that Díaz Escrich arrives at his estimate of 60,000 such vessels. This estimate relies on the suspension of the travel prohibitions imposed by the White House that impact both their own sailing community and Cuban tourism.
In spite of the easing of some of these in accordance with the reestablishment of diplomatic ties between both countries, yacht crews are still obliged to seek a Treasury Department leisure craft export permit in order to visit Cuba.
In addition to the two regattas, 2015 also witnessed the 20 boat strong Havana Challenge, the Bone Island race comprising 4 craft, the Havana – Key West Kayak Crossing and the speed record challenge by Roger Kluh in his Apache Star power boat, with 2 crew members
from the United States.
Found among the scheduled U.S. based regattas for 2016 are The Concha, Sarasota, Tallship Challenge, Havana-Challenge, Cortés, Storm Trysail, from Texas, Punta Gorda, Pensacola, the Havana Thunder Challenge and another from Miami.Share on FB Share on TT