Regattas, gatherings of friends, fishing, a tradition almost as impressive as a movie is captured by a Cuban sports and tourism venture.
With the satisfaction of celebrating its first 20 years of existence, the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba sets sail towards a promising future, according to Commodore José Miguel Díaz Escrich.
Díaz Escrich, who has amassed a broad career in sailing and tourism, carries the weight of this initiative - since its creation on May 21, 1992 - with the contentment of having given the leisure industry in this country a fresh impetus.
Standing out for its reinforcement of the image of U.S. novelist Ernest Hemingway, the institution recalls the adventures of the American writer. The marina lying to the west of the capital, where the Club is also located, was named after him.
The nonprofit facility managed to strengthen Cuba’s image in sailing and yachting, as well as to establish bonds of friendship with the international community, objectives that Díaz Escrich describes as fundamental.
The Hemingway Club was inaugurated with only 32 members, among them a group given the category of Members of Honor for their contribution to recreational sailing in Cuba. This group includes representatives from Mexico, the U.S., Greece and Italy, mainly diplomats and businesspeople living in the Caribbean nation or just passing through.
That small number quickly increased to the current figure of 2,140 members from 60 countries, and it has continued to grow due to the quantity of individuals who have already expressed their desire to become full members.
According to Escrich, among the Club’s most important activities is, in first place, the Ernest Hemingway International Billfish Tournament founded more than 60 years ago by the writer himself.
The institution represents Cuba in a number of international associations such as the Ocean Cruising Club, the Cruising Association from the U.K., and the Trans-Ocean and Kreuzer-Abteilung, both from Germany.
In addition, members of the Cuban Yacht Club include cruise associations from Switzerland and Austria, the Swedish Yachts Owners Association, and the International Game Fish Association (IGFA).
Despite Washington’s political differences with the government in Havana, the Club also has very good relations with the Seven Seas Cruising Association of the United States.
However, the commodore considers that these first 20 years are only a starting point. Meanwhile the maxim of the Club is to continue expanding and strengthening bonds of friendship and cooperation with the international sailing community.
Translated by Xelcis A. Presno
Revised by Susana Hurlich