Sarasota to Havana regatta planned

The Sarasota Yacht Club (SYC) is hoping to restore a 70-year-old international tradition with an offshore yacht race to Havana &mdash the Regatta Castillo del Morro. The invitation to race comes from Jose Escrich, commodore of the Hemingway International Yacht Club and the Cuban Sailing Federation.

Don Payzant, SYC fleet captain, race committee chairman and board member said, “We realized we had to get to Cuba on our boats in order to race there, so why not race on our way to Cuba? We are hopeful that the new (Obama) administration will support our efforts to reinstate this famous race.”

The SYC sailing team, headed by Jay Meyer, applied to the U.S. Government for permission to participate in the regatta, but travel to Cuba is still heavily regulated by the U.S. and so far the SYC is still awaiting permission from Washington.

A notice of race details and a calendar of events has been posted on the club’s Web site, but until permission is granted by the U.S. Government the future of the race is in limbo.

The club has set March 31 as the date by which they would need all governmental approvals in order to finalize and execute plans to hold the regatta this year.

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By Ocean Navigator