St. Pete to Havana Race Sets Sail
By TB Reporter
A classic race before Castro came to power, the sailing event renewed today (Feb. 28) for the first time since 1959.
ST. PETERSBURG — In what was once one of the top sailing events in America, the St. Petersburg-to-Havana race moved out of Tampa Bay today (Feb. 28) under light wind, southbound 284 miles toward Cuba. Depending on conditions. the 74-yacht fleet is expected to reach its Havana Harbor destination beginning Thursday.
At 3 p.m. today, the 52-foot Conviction, owned and skippered by Douglas Fisher, held a slight lead over 40-foot Fomo, owned and skippered by Lloyd Thornburg. The leaders were reported off Bradenton Beach.
Two or three vessels bringing up the rear had yet to clear the Sunshine Skyway.
The first St. Pete to Havana race was held in 1930. An 11-boat fleet competed. The last race until today was held in 1959 when Fidel Castro had come to power. Some sailors spoke of hearing gunfire as the fleet sailed into the harbor. But despite the tension, the race attracted what was then a record 37 entries.
St. Petersburg | Sailing | St. Petersburg to Havana Yacht Race | TB Reporter
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