By: Roberto F. Campos Photos: MINTUR
One of the world’s oldest competitions keeps its promise for annual celebration with a dynamic international 60th edition.
The Spanish team participating in the 60th Ernest Hemingway International word fish Tournament obviously brought itself luck by naming its yacht “Pilar” after the Hemingway boat. That original Pilar can be seen today at the Hemingway Museum on the Vigía country estate in Havana, where the author of The Old Man and the Sea lived for more than 20 years.
The Spanish team won first place, the Russian team-aboard “DC-9-III”-came in second Team place and the Danes on board “Marlin XVIII” won the third, followed by the Argentine and US teams. The award for largest specimen caught went to the hands of the Grand Cayman Islands team, for 16 kilograms.
One hundred thirty fishermen from 19 countries participated in the tournament, registering 333 tag-and-release catches.
Four teams came from the USA, one of them representing the Seminole Indians from the states of Florida and Oklahoma. There were also representatives from Mexico, Italy, the UK and France, among other countries.
After the awards ceremony, all anglers were invited to participate in the 61st Ernest Hemingway International Swordfish Fishing Tournament next year; June 6-11, 2011.
Tourism: an important role in the fishing contest
With Cuba’s famed tourism perk as a backdrop, the 60th tournament once again added its special appeal for those visiting the island.
Some of the event’s more relevant moments were the talks and debates among journalists covering the sports and other programs of a tournament attended by fishermen from five continents, notably those from the US.
According to experts and tour operators, tourism was a special draw for the symbolic event due to Cuba’s care of these sea environment and its state-of-the-art recreational structure. This naturally includes the fantastic Cuban beaches, among which Varadero is a world leader. There are also the “eastern beaches” (20 minutes east of Havana), where Santa María del Mar is especially handy for a quick swim.
Cuba is 110,992 square kilometers wide with 5, 746 kilometers of coast, including 200 bays and 2,000 keys. But for most tourists, it’s the 588 kilometers of astounding beaches that have the most relevance.