Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 40+ 728x90

Sarasota Yacht Club cancels Sarasota to Havana Event for 2011

by Nancy Knudsen on 18 Feb 2011
Destination our of reach - American members of the Sarasota Yacht Club won’t be visiting the Hemingway Yacht Club in 2011 .. .
February 15 came and went with no positive word from USA authorities, and the Sarasota Yacht Club had established that as the deadline for getting permission for almost 200 sailors who wanted to sail to Havana in Cuba.

As of that date the Sarasota Yacht Club Charitable Foundation (SYCCF) had not received permission to sail from the Department of the Treasury, Office of Asset Control which is the governing body. The Yacht Club Committee had the mid-February date as the 'commit or quit' deadline with plans to move forward with plans to sail to Havana this May.


'Due to the logistical requirements of properly organizing the regatta scheduled to start on May 14, 2011, the event has been postponed until 2012,' said Vincent Di Pano, Committee Chairman. 'The new date will be set and applications filed with OFAC in the next 30 days,' he added, showing determination to eventually re-run the traditional regatta.

Cuba, a mere 260 miles from the mainland, has been off-limits to American citizens for over 50 years, but this only seems to make it more attractive. Sailing to Havana in the Sarasota to Havana Regatta used to be a fine tradition, until it was stopped in the late 50's because Fidel Castro's takeover of Cuba and then the frozen relations between the USA and island.

The Club, which had been lobbying, and failing, for years to revive the regatta, had high hopes of being able to run the event this year as a result of President Barack Obama loosening restrictions on US citizens travelling to the island in January.

The club had applied for permission to dock at the Port of Havana, where the commodore of the Hemingway International Yacht Club has for the second year invited its members to compete in the Regatta Castillo del Morro, an international boating race.

In 1994 a regatta was allowed, and 86 sailing boats made the voyage to a thunderous welcome from the Cubans, in the form of the Hemingway International Yacht Club.

The 1994 regatta — the only official attempt to revive the historic race born in the 1930s — was orchestrated by the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, the yacht club's non-profit counterpart, which received much criticism for its attempt to revive the traditional festival. In that year, the attempted rebirth of the annual regatta was branded a humanitarian effort, and boaters loaded food, medical supplies and toys for Cuban youth. However, they weren't allowed to shop in Cuba, and had to take all their own food and water. Even so, the criticism the organisation received left such a bad taste that the event was not tried again the next year.

In the following years, though, some sailors still ventured to the island despite the embargo, at least until 2004, when two organizers of a race from Key West to Cuba were indicted for violating the Trading With the Enemy Act. This effectively ensured that most Americans would give the island a wide berth in their Caribbean wanderings.

The organisers from both the SYC and the Hemingway International Yacht Club see their sailing exploits as the first steps in open cultural exchange between the two nations and are hopeful new directives from the White House can clear the way.

But we'll have to wait until at least 2012 for that to happen now.

Alternative Plans:

Vincent Di Pano has offered some hope that there will be an alternative for disappointed skippers and their crews. He stated that while there is significant interest in conducting the alternate SYC Sarasota-Miami Regatta on May 14th, options are being considered to partner with the Bone Island Regatta from Sarasota to Key West on May 18th . In tandem with this, the SYCCF Race Committee will be meeting with the Sara Bay Yachting Association this week and further information on any details from these meetings will be forthcoming from the club.

For more information go to the Sarasota Yacht Club www.sarasotayachtclub.org!website.
............................
Did you like this article? If you are not a Sail-World subscriber already, did you know that you can keep up with all the news from the world of the cruising sailor with a weekly news hit? It's totally free, as all our income is from the advertisers.

Once you subscribe, all the non-racing news comes to you in one easy to read news magazine, right to your inbox. AND it's up to date, so you don't have to wait for the end of the month to find out what's going on. You can even subscribe a friend. http://www.sail-world.com/Cruising/international/newsletter_subscribe.cfm!Click_here_now!

Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82North Technology - Southern SparsHelm Events 660x82

Related Articles

SWC Final – Nacra sailors react to Olympic foiling announcement
Last month the World Sailing Council met in Barcelona, Spain, and confirmed the Nacra 17 will convert to foiling Last month the World Sailing Council met in Barcelona, Spain, and confirmed the Nacra 17 will convert to foiling for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the only foiling class among the 10 Olympic sailing classes.
Posted today at 10:48 am
Sailing World Cup Melbourne pays tribute to Paul Elvstrom
Sixty years ago, Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron welcomed legendary Paul Elvstrom for the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games. Sixty years ago, the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron welcomed the legendary Paul Elvstrom for the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games. At the time the Danish sailor was carving a legacy that included four consecutive Olympic gold medals, numerous world championships and sporting innovations that are now the norm within the sport.
Posted today at 7:22 am
Sailing World Cup Melbourne – Aussies revel in seabreeze conditions
Another day of good sailing conditions in Melbourne made for a memorable day for Australia’s sailors competing in finals In the 470 Men’s event, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan had another strong day winning both of their two races. They currently lead overall, five points ahead of China’s team of Lan/Wang.
Posted on 7 Dec
Sailing World Cup Final - Finn racers put to the test
The top Finn racers at the Sailing World Cup Final presented by Land Rover are putting each other to the test The top Finn racers at the Sailing World Cup Final presented by Land Rover are putting each other to the test and for Rio 2016 Olympians Jake Lilley (AUS) and Caleb Paine (USA), it's business as usual after a period of rest.
Posted on 7 Dec
Sailing World Cup Melbourne - Volunteers, the source of energy
Energy is not something that can always be measured, but strength that volunteers in sailing bring is critical to events Energy is not something that can always be measured, but the strength and vitality that so many volunteers in sailing bring to the events that and clubs that they help out is an amazing resource that is critical to events such as Sailing World Cup Melbourne.
Posted on 7 Dec
SWC Final - Melbourne - Nicholas Heiner follows famous dad into Finn
Former Laser world champion Nicholas Heiner is competing at his first international event in a new class he hopes Former Laser world champion Nicholas Heiner is competing at his first international event in a new class he hopes to medal in for the Netherlands at the Olympic Games, just like his father did 20 years ago in Atlanta, USA.
Posted on 7 Dec
Clipper Race skipper given special honour at French Sailing Awards
Olivier Cardin was recognised with a special award at last night’s French Sailing Federation’s flagship award ceremony. Olivier Cardin was recognised with a special award at last night’s French Sailing Federation’s flagship award ceremony, the Soiree des Champions.
Posted on 6 Dec
2017 America's Cup tickets will go on sale on 9th December
Six teams, representing USA, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, France, Sweden, will race incredible hydrofoiling yachts The six teams, representing the USA, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, France and Sweden, will race incredible hydrofoiling yachts on a stadium-style racecourse on Bermuda’s Great Sound which will make the events in Bermuda among the hottest tickets in world sport in 2017.
Posted on 6 Dec
Connecting Team Bridge at the Sailing World Cup Final Melbourne
Eldest son Ollie is hoping for a top two finish and his 17 year-old brother Guy will be pushing for top three. Consider the logistics of three teenage boys of varying ages all playing the same equipment heavy sport. Now imagine the coordination required for the Bridge family of kiters currently in Australia for an extended southern hemisphere tour that includes the IKA Formula Kite Open division
Posted on 6 Dec
Good start to Sailing World Cup Melbourne for Aussies
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan won the first race in convincing style and finished the second race of the day in second place The Aussie duo of Mat Belcher and Will Ryan won their first race in convincing style, and finished the second race of the day in second place. They are currently in first place overall, two points ahead of the Japanese pairing of Takayama and Imamura.
Posted on 6 Dec