Havana Challenge Boats Arrive in Cuba


Photo Feature by Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — Sailboats and other vessels participating in the Havana Challenge regatta arrived to Cuba from Florida around noon on Tuesday in the area of the US Interests Section, soon to be the US Embassy. Onlookers watched along the Malecón seawall.

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11 thoughts on “Havana Challenge Boats Arrive in Cuba


  • You are absolutely correct, Cubans have wanted to move on for fifty six years.
    But, I am intrigued by the Cuban Yacht Club. Who are the members and do they possess yachts and if so of what type and cost?
    If there are yacht owning members of the Cuban Yacht Club, do they have special permission to take to the seas whenever they choose and wherever they want to go?
    Does the Cuban Yacht Club have a Clubhouse and is it open or restricted membership and annual membership charges?

  • I would like to believe / hope that the current engagement will encourage the Cuban people to demand continued economic autonomy, remove excuses from the regime for their continued failures, and in the end make it more difficult for the regime to exert control. After that, who knows?

  • It’s good to hear that you are aware of the real hardships Cubans face and that you acknowledge their deep desire for change.

    I don’t agree with the view that engagement with the Castro regime will bring about these changes. Their only interest is regime survival.

    Perhaps events like this help the people of Cuba, I’m skeptical, but I do hope for the best.

  • It’s an apt comparison you make between the 19th century slave trade & the lack of rights & freedoms for the Cuban people under Castro.

    However, the Atlantic slave trade ended 140 years ago. The desparate crossings by Cubans escaping Castro’s prison island are happening NOW! Cubans are still drowning in the Floroda Straits in 2015.

    Get informed.

  • I went as Captain and owner of Dream Catcher schooner, 12 other joined us aboard as a support vessel for 5 Hobie Cat racers raced from KW to Havana.
    While there we saw family, enjoyed the folks that live there and paraded out front of the malecon.
    Yes I have many photos of Chugs and balseros that make an attempt to leave a ”tough place to live”.
    The system is stagnent, logical day to day survival very hard, and hopefully changes will be made as all societies need changes to catch up with the rest of the world.
    We made friends, gave many gifts and received gifts.
    The Havana Challenge will continue for sport sake, it is not easy as a sport.
    Rafting accross the straits of Florida is not a sport, it is a vote, a desperate vote that one may not have at home.
    Yes we went thru the channels and obtained a license from the US Department of Commerce and the US Coast Guard, the world moves on, believe me, Cubans want to move on…

  • So I guess coming over on a cruise in the Caribbean is a cruel joke on the millions of Africans that died in the Atlantic slave trade? Get a life, hate is not a family value.

  • The Havana Challenge is a regatta organized by the Cuban Yacht Club, the Key West Yacht Club and the Key West Navigation Center. The event is a yet another propaganda exercise of the Castro regime.

    As far as we can tell, the boats involved are American, given it is illegal for Cubans to board a boat without a government permit. Perhaps a few well connected regime officials got to sail around a bit?

    George Bush outlawed the Havana Challenge in 2004. It seems that this year, either Obama lifted the ban or organizers figured the US government would turn a blind eye to it.

    In any event, the regatta is a cruel joke on the Cubans who have perished in the Florida Straits while attempting to flee the Castro’s island prison.

  • I’m wondering the same thing. Isn’t it illegal for them to be in the waters surrounding Cuba?

  • Have you any photographs of the many charming home-made Cuban sailboats arriving in Florida?

  • what is going on here ? Do they have to go through immigration and customs, did they turn around and go back before landing on Cuban soil

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