Hemingway Club’s 25th Anniversary
By Roberto F. Campos, Photos: Prensa Latina
The Ernest Hemingway International Yacth Club, Cuba’s most prominent recreational sailing institution and event promoter, will host a series of activities this year to mark its 25th anniversary.
Anniversary celebrations for the Club founded on May 21, 1992 commenced in January with the República de la Concha regatta, followed a few days later by the Torreón de La Chorrera regatta, an event during which 29 yachts undertook the two-lap circuit from Havana’s El Morro Castle to the mouth of the Almendares River.
In February, the country hosted the 6 day long St. Petersburg-Havana race, in which 90 sailboats participated.
Commodore Jose Miguel Díaz Escrich, head of the Hemingway Yacht Club since its foundation, told Cubaplus that club membership has grown from an initial 28 members from 10 countries to the present 2,800 members from 73 countries. He explained that a total of 18 events have been planned as part of this year’s celebrations, whichwill involve 500 boats and more than 2,000 sailors, mostly from the Unit ed States.
The Commodore, one of only a select few Latin American officials to have been granted multiple honorary club memberships all around the world, said that for the first time in the history of his club, a Cuban yacht crewed by Cuban sailors will compete in the Tampa-Havana regatta between May 18th and 25th.
He also confirmed that the French Rochelle Club plans to hold an oceanic regatta in 2018, with a 10 day Atlantic ocean crossing.
The Hemingway Club is a non-governmental and not for profit organization, founded in 1992 at Havana’s Hemingway Marina, previously known as the Barlovento.
During the first half of the 20th century, there were more than 100 yacht clubs in Cuba, 39 of which were in the capital.
Havana’s International Club held the first ever Hemingway Marlin Fishing Tournament in 1950, after Commodore Rafael Pozo and other club officials convinced the prize winning novelist to oversee the competition that carried his name. In 1960, the competition was suspended due to tensions and between the US and Cuba, but it was reconvened 1992, following the foundation of the Hemingway Yacht Club.