Despite King Orange’s attempts to end Cuba’s growing relationship with Americans (and the resulting disappearance of all the other Cuba races this year), Chris Woolsey and the SORC folks decided to run the third edition of the Miami Habana Race again this year, and some 21 yachts showed up for another great race on one of the best downwind race tracks anywhere. Chris’s report below, photos here, and results here.
Todd Stuart’s White Rhino clinched SORC’s Islands in the Stream series while Heidi and Steve Benjamin’s TP52 Spookie set a new race record in the 2018 Miami to Havana Race, but first time Habana Race participant Joe Rome stepped straight into history: Upon his arrival at Marina Hemingway (after clinching the Multihull Class victory aboard his Simpson 48 Peregrine) Joe becomes the first Cuban-born American sailor to return to his homeland on his own boat in nearly 70 years! His trip included a visit to his childhood home and seeing a childhood friend he had not seen in decades. He closed out the experience by leading the first multihull team to finish the shorebound Castillo del Morro Race.
Maybe sometimes you can go home again.
The White Rhino team committed to the SORC Islands in the Stream Series early and jumped in with both feet, winning the first two races and hanging on to clinch the season in Havana with a one point margin over both Spookie and Senara, the Farr 395 owned by Jim Bill, Eamonn deLisser and Horst Baier.
It was a big year for Heidi and Steve Benjamin’s TP52 Spookie, which shaved two hours off of the course record to stamp their names on the Trebuchet Trophy, winning First Monohull to Finish, first IRC and Best Overall Performance in the process. Lec Maj’s Columbia 32 Oakcliff’s Weegie torched the PHRF fleet, winning PHRF A over two-time defending race champion Michael Hennessy’s Class 40 Dragon. Glenn Doncaster’s Virginia-based team on the Sabre 42 Nanuq won the PHRF B Class, and Lowell Potiker’s Hylas 70 Runaway stretched her legs to win the Racer Cruiser Class.
After moving the race HQ out of last year’s venue, competitors enjoyed vastly improved onshore events at Friday night’s Awards Party and dinner, and Saturday’s “Amazing Race”-themed Castillo del Morro Race, won in a photo finish by Jason Siebert’s team from the Olson 30 Concussion.
Watch for an announcement on next season’s expanded SORC Islands in the Stream Series, and make plans early to spend next winter with us in the waters and on the islands surrounding sunny South Florida.
CW signing off from Havana.