Conch Republic Cup revived as US re-establishes ties with Cuba

Conch Republic Cup LLC is proud to announce the reconstitution of our traditional “Conch Republic Cup Key West Cuba Race Week”. This had been an annual cultural exchange sporting event since 1997 until efforts were thwarted by the US government after the 2003 edition. Now with the normalization of relations between our nations it is again possible to renew this maritime tradition with our neighbors.
 
Our tradition began as a race hosted by the Key West Sailing Club (as it was known at the time) with a race from Key West to Varadero, Cuba in the years 1997 and 1998 at the invitation of Commodore Jose Migel Diaz Escrich of Club Nautico International, Marina Hemingway. Race organizers Peter Goldsmith and Michele Geslin coordinated with our Cuban counterparts tirelessly for some time to create an event full of good racing, great fun and warm greatings between cultures. For the 1999 edition Commodore Escrich suggested a series of races consisting of this original race as a first leg. Racing was then extended to include a buoy race in Varadero, another distance race from Varadero to Marina Hemingway in Havana and finally a race from Havana back to Key West. This format continued annually through 2003 and is the heart of the race we continue today.
 
Our new lease on tradition will begin on Wednesday, January 27th 2016 with a welcome reception at a TBD location in Key West and finish with awarding of the Conch Republic Cup to the overall winner at a ceremony back in Key West on Saturday, February 6th. This year we will be including a parade of sail in front of the historic Malecon parkway in Havana and several lay days for private exploration with the option of scheduled Havana guided tours.
 
With the added logistics of government permitting our deadlines are approaching quickly. We will need to receive entry applications by October 16th, 2015 with you final crew list deadline being January 2nd, 2016. Please feel free to contact the Conch Republic Cup immediately with any questions you may have after reviewing the online materials.
 
Full information and the Notice of Race can be viewed on the website at www.ConchRepublicCup.com or contact
 
– Jeff Drechsler
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