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Conch Republic Cup, Key West Cuba Race Week

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Conch Republic Cup, Key West Cuba Race Week

From Sunday, January 22, 2017 to Friday, February 3, 2017 January 22, 2017 February 3, 2017 Oceans Edge Key West

Conch Republic Cup, Key West Cuba Race Week

Sailing teams racing monohulls and multihulls are to compete in races from the Florida Keys to two Cuban cities during the 13-day Conch Republic Cup set for Sunday, Jan. 22, through Friday, Feb. 3.
During the event, yachters are to race from Key West to Cuba’s Varadero and Havana, and back to the southernmost city in the continental United States.
Hosted by Key West Community Sailing Center and Cuba’s Hemingway International Yacht Club, sailors are to complete a triangle: a 100-mile contest from Key West to Varadero, a 90-mile race from Varadero to Havana, and a 90-mile leg from Havana to Key West. The historic race began in 1997 with a Key West race to Varadero, and expanded to include Havana in 1999.
The Cup had a 13-year hiatus after U.S. authorities enforced a Cuban embargo in 2003.
The race resumed earlier this year, following increased relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
The event’s Race Village and registration are to open at Dante’s Key West at 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 22. Exhibition racing and village vendor displays are scheduled Sunday and Monday, Jan. 23, daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The regatta formally begins Tuesday, Jan. 24, with a 5 p.m. start from Key West to Varadero. On Thursday, Jan. 26, sailors are scheduled to sail from Varadero along the Cuban coast to Havana. On Sunday, Jan. 29, a Havana Harbor buoy race at Morro Castle and a yacht parade along the Malecon are scheduled.
Sailors race back to Key West Thursday, Feb. 2, with an awards celebration scheduled Friday, Feb. 3, at Dante’s.
The 2016 Cup attracted 435 sailors on 54 racing boats representing 25 states and five countries.
That event featured five classes of vessels: two in the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet; jib and main, known as keelboat racing without the spinnaker; multihull; and schooner.
South Carolina skipper Eddie Evans, a 40-plus year veteran sailing his Beneteau Oceanis 381 yacht, Naut-On Call, won the 2016 Cup.                                  
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