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Marina Hemingway's Castillo del Morro Race - Racing in Cuba

by Talbot Wilson on 11 Nov 2015
'Lesson #1' as seen in the start of the Andrews Institute Pensacola a la Habana Race. The J130 owned by John Lee and skippered by Guy Williams and Mike Finn of New Orleans LA finished first in the Castillo del Morro Race, a local event following the Andrews Institute Pensacola a la Habana Race. Talbot Wilson
'Lesson #1', the J130 owned by John Lee and skippered by Guy Williams and Mike Finn of New Orleans LA finished first in the Castillo del Morro Race, a local event following the Andrews Institute Pensacola a la Habana Race. It followed a course from the Almendares River mouth to the entry buoy to Havana Harbor to the entry of Hemingway Marina. This course is spectator friendly for the Cuban people and US spectators traveling to Cuba.

Second place went to 'Odalisque', the Catana 43 sailed by Tom Schinkert of Elberta AL and third was 'Na Zdravi' a Beneteau 47 skippered by Chris Schmidt, Montgomery AL/Panama City FL.

One important goal of the new Andrews Institute Pensacola a la Habana Cuba race was to establish friendly, amateur athletic competition between the US sailors and the people of Cuba. The Castillo del Morro Race was sailed Friday morning November 6 between Havana Harbor and the Castle El Morro at the mouth of Hemingway Marina.

The race had 12 entries. There were seven competitors from the Andrews Institute Pensacola a la Habana race fleet and five local entries. More were expected from the Pensacola fleet, but the rough conditions for the first few days and light air another day took a toll on the American fleet.

Commodore Escrich of the Hemingway International Yacht Club said, “In this race we praise the efforts of the participants, because, as you know, the American boats had to sail very hard to arrive to Havana. Because of this, we awarded prizes to the four first places and the last four places.'

'Lesson #1' did indeed have a hard race from Pensacola. She sailed with limited electrical power and blew out her main but repaired it. The patchwork sail became their 'frankenmain' for the last two days. Crossing the Gulf in winds from 10 to 30kts she finished second in Class A and second in the Modern Cruiser Division.



The four first places were:

1— Lesson #1, J130, Guy Williams/ Mike Finn, New Orleans LA
2— Odalisque, Catana 43, Tom Schinkert, Elberta AL
3— Na Zdravi, Beneteau 47, Chris Schmidt, Montgomery AL/Panama City FL
4— Noor, Cuba and Switzerland

And the last four boats

8— Libra, Tripp 57, Ryan Rayfield, Orange Beach AL
9— Mikara, Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba
10— Retiro, Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba
11—Club Náutico 1, Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba

The trophy presentation for the Andrews Institute Pensacola a la Habana Race and the Castillo del Morro Race was held at the Hemingway International Yacht Club following the Castillo del Morro Race.

The original Havana Race was sailed from St. Petersburg, FL when 11 boats hit the starting line on March 30, 1930.The competition grew in size and stature to be a favorite of Gulf Coast sailors. It became a preliminary to the famous Southern Ocean Racing Circuit and attracted top yachts from the Americas and the international scene. The race was discontinued after 1959.

38 South - Sun Fast 3300 - FOOTER - Sept2021Flagstaff 2021AUG - First 36 - FOOTERBoat Books Australia FOOTER

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