Date Set for Pensacola to Havana Race

Published on July 13th, 2016

Planning has begun for the 2017 Pensacola a la Habana Race, the second biennial race from Pensacola Bay in Florida to the Marina Hemingway Sea Buoy near Havana, Cuba. Starting April 30, the 511 nautical mile ocean race is open to all— cruisers, racer/cruisers and all-out race boats. Entry will be open to multi-hulls and mono-hulls, amateurs and professionals and everything in between.

unnamed(3)Cruiser boats should expect to cover the course in about four days, racers less. Giving ample time for recovery and re-hydration, the Castillo del Morro Race, a race including additional boats flagged in or visiting Cuba, is scheduled for May 6 followed by trophy presentations.

Sean Hickey, Race Chairman for the Pensacola Yacht Club [PYC], said, “Last December PYC Commodore Alan McMillan and Commodore Escrich of the Hemingway International Yacht Club [HIYC] signed a Letter of Agreement to stage the second Pensacola a la Habana Race in the spring of 2017. That date has been confirmed now for the start from Pensacola on Sunday, 30 April so boats should finish before the weekend, in time to enjoy Cuba and a fun race with the locals and other international visitors.”

Commodore Escrich noted from Cuba, “We reaffirm the willingness of Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba to ensure that the Pensacola Havana Race has all the possible and necessary success to be a prestigious embassy of friendship between our two institutions and the people of the United States and Cuba. For me, the Board of Directors and members of HIYC of Cuba will be happy to provide all possible support for the 2017 edition of the Pensacola-Havana Regatta to [make it] more successful than last year.”

In 2015, 24 boats were entered in the first Pensacola a la Habana Race. Because of pre-race damage to one yacht and change of plans for two others, only 21 started. PYC organizers had originally hoped to double the fleet from 2015 to 2017, but expectations are higher now that hull insurance will be available for sailing in Cuban waters. See the story in Soundings Trade Only Today.

The race will be sailed in Multihull and Monohull fleets. There will be a PHRF Division sailed under Gulf Yachting Association [GYA] PHRF ratings with regular credits or penalties, a Cruiser’s Race Division racing under GYA PHRF Modified handicap ratings that will offer additional amenity based cruiser credits and motoring allowances, and a Multihull Division sailing under GYA PHRF ratings.

The 2017 Notice of Race and entry forms will be posted at

For Race information contact
Sean Hickey, Chairman
Cel: +1 251-802-8688

Report and photos by Talbot Wilson.

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