Updated:
Original:

Sailing to Cuba

With the Obama administration relaxing travel restrictions to Cuba, a group of hopeful sailors from Sarasota, Florida are trying to organize a regatta on the island nation this coming June. Jay Meyer, a member of the Sarasota Yacht Club (SYC), is applying for permission with the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. Meyer hopes to take as many as 100 U.S.-flagged boats to

With the Obama administration relaxing travel restrictions to Cuba, a group of hopeful sailors from Sarasota, Florida are trying to organize a regatta on the island nation this coming June. Jay Meyer, a member of the Sarasota Yacht Club (SYC), is applying for permission with the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. Meyer hopes to take as many as 100 U.S.-flagged boats to the course, which will run from Cuba's Marina Hemingway to the Port of Havana and back.

Meyer began pushing for permission to race after Cuba's sailing team and the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba invited the Sarasota Yacht Club to participate. Should the event take place, it will restore a 70-year-old international-sailing tradition. Meyers and other SYC members hope that this race could help reopen Cuba for regularly scheduled regattas. Before Fidel Castro's 1959 coup, U.S. boats often raced there from the U.S. and participated in regattas that were hosted by Cuban clubs. After Castro's rise to power, competitive sailing events between the two nations sharply declined. In 2004, the Bush administration signed a proclamation allowing all Cuban-bound U.S. boats to be seized.

The Obama administration recently allowed Cuban immigrants to return to Cuba once per year to visit their family, up from the previous once-per-three-years rule, and extended the definition of "family" to include more than just immediate relatives. However, gaining travel permission is still difficult. The application explains that sailors will be staying on their own boats, bringing their own provisions, and are not allowed to spend any money in Cuba. Sports have historically been used to thaw international relationships (e.g., China's ping-pong diplomacy), which could give the race -- and better relations with Cuba -- a fighting chance.

Related

211007MINI_1208-2400x1600

Mini Transat: Bouroullec and Fink Win Leg One

The Mini Transat is a roughly 4000-mile course that comprises two legs— Les Sables D’Olonne, France to Santa Cruz de La Palma in the Canaries, and Santa Cruz de La Palma to the French Caribbean island Guadeloupe. Two fleets of Mini 6.50s compete—the Production class in ...read more

01-LEAD-7-1-Rhiannon-loaded-on-the-truck-with-Clark,-Andre,-and-Louis

Book Excerpt: Taken By The Wind

In 1975, as a senior at Harvard, the question for Chicago-area sailor Mike Jacker became what to do next. The answer, as related in his new book Taken by the Wind, was to make a small-boat voyage to Tahiti with his grade-school friend Louis Gordon and Harvard classmate Clark ...read more

Maserati _Arthur Daniel

The RORC Caribbean 600 is Back

With a start planned for February 21 in Antigua, the famed 600-mile Caribbean race is back. The course circumnavigates 11 Caribbean islands starting from English Harbour, Antigua, and heading north to St Maarten and south to Guadeloupe, passing Barbuda, Nevis, St Kitts, Saba and ...read more

01-LEAD-14_00_210613_TORE03_JRE_4266_16961-3000x3000

The Ocean Race Europe

The fully crewed, round-the-world Ocean Race has experienced tremendous change over the years. From the 1993 transition to a one-design fleet to an ever-shifting route, what began as the amateur Whitbread Round the World Yacht Regatta in 1972 is a very different race today. The ...read more

01-LEAD-m'19.07.17_Sail-Stowing_3

Sail Inventories for Ocean Racing

We’re currently outfitting and refitting our Swan 59, Icebear, for the upcoming, round-the-world Ocean Globe Race (OGR, oceangloberace.com) in 2023, a reenactment of the early Whitbread races. In 1985, Nautor’s Swan placed a “factory” entry into the Whitbread, Fazer Finland, a ...read more

Screen-Shot-2021-10-01-at-10.28.25-AM

VIDEO: Sailing Drones to Gather Hurricane Data

NOAA and Saildrone Inc. have teamed up to pilot five new saildrones in the Atlantic to gather data that will improve the understanding of hurricanes. Yesterday SD1045, one of the sail-powered data collection bots, got a look at Hurricane Sam, a category 4 hurricane currently off ...read more

Sail-Fall-2

A Series of Unfortunate Events in the South Pacific

There is something almost mystical and more than a little eerie about scuba diving in the deep ocean, hundreds of miles from land and a mile from the bottom. You are surrounded by blue, all shades of blue, vanishing into deep black as you look down. No fish, no coral, just ...read more

download

New Zealand and Columbia Win 12 Metre North American Championship

The one word to sum up the 2021 12 Metre North American Championship is “variety.” Over three days, the eight-boat fleet saw everything from postponement due to a squall to an early start to capitalize on a scant 5-8 knots before being becalmed. “If you would have said last ...read more