The Hemingway International Marlin Tournament, the fi shing event in Cuba in memory of Noble laureate novelist Ernest Hemingway, held its 61st edition this year. One hundred thirty-one fi shermen grouped in 21 teams from 13 countries answered the call to come in peace and friendship, said the event’s organizers.
As has been the case for several years now, the biggest complaint from Commodore José Miguel Díaz Escrish of the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba (HIYC), also president of the Marlin Marinas Business Group (MARLIN S.A.), was that US government offi cials prevented participation of a number of US citizens.
Of all the US citizens interested in participating in the tournament there were some 19 citizens, with 20 yachts, who were not given the necessary US Treasury Department licenses in time to travel to Cuba.
Teams from Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Russia and Spain, together with the Cuban teams, participated in the competition.
The tournament took place from June 6 to 11 off the coast of Havana, departing from the Marina Hemingway and the Hemingway Yacht Club, headquarters of the international fishing contest that awards points for the global competition held each year in US waters. Escrish said that during his recent visit to the US, before the Hemingway tournament, he found great interest in planning a Sarasota-Havana Regatta.
He also pointed out that 2012 will be the 20th anniversary of the Hemingway Yacht Club, which members include businessmen, diplomats and marine enthusiasts from several countries. Some 600 clubs around the world acknowledge the importance of the Hemingway International Yacht Club and respect its activities and history.
The Marlin Marinas Business Group was created on May 25, 2005 and comprises 12 Cuban companies and branches, with centres at Marina Hemingway in the capital and in Tarara, east of Havana.
To that are added 16 nautical locations in Havana’s eastern beaches, as well as marinas in Cayo Guillermo-Cayo Coco, Santa Lucía, Holguín-Guardalavaca, Santiago de Cuba, Ciego de Ávila, Jardines de la Reina, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Cayo Largo, and Colony, on the Isle of Youth.
According to Díaz Escrish, perhaps in two or three years it will be possible for Cuba to fully welcome the high number of US yachtsmen interested in visiting the island and participating in sporting events.