Local Sports

Key West-Cuba race back for 10th year

The Conch Republic Cup, a sailing race from Key West to Havana, Cuba, returns for its 10th edition at the end of January.

The event, set for Jan. 26 to Feb. 3, is designed to give competitors the chance to cross the waters of the Gulf Stream to and from Cuba as well as race against Cuban sailors in the Torreon de la Chorrera Buoy Race.

The Conch Republic Cup is supported by the Key West Community Sailing Center, Key West Yacht Club and the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba.

The sailing history between Cuba and Key West began with ships sailing between the two islands for the purpose of trade. Once commercial shipping began to use fuel, the ways of the sailing ships passed into the history books. However, the tradition of sailing between Cuba and the U.S. has continued with events and races.

Commodore Jose Miguel Diaz Escrich from the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba helped start the Conch Republic Cup in 1997 with Peter Goldsmith from the Key West Sailing Club, now the Key West Community Sailing Center.

There are three legs to the race versus the four legs for the past two events. Registration deadline is Dec.31. For more information go to www.conchrepubliccup.org.