More than 130 fishermen on 24 teams took to the sea this week to participate in the 65th Ernest Hemingway International Billfishing Tournament, being held May 25-30, from Baracoa’s beach in the eastern province of Guántanamo, to the west of Havana and Guanabo, east of the capital.
The Capitan of the Hemingway Nautical Club, José Miguel Díaz Escrich, expressed his satisfaction given the presence of U.S. sports fishers – authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department to participate in the competition for the first time in 35 years – including John and Patrick Hemingway, grandsons of the famous U.S. author.
Fishers from France, Canada, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, Lithuania, Italy and Cuba are also competing.
The event is organized by the Hemingway Club together with the Ministry of Tourism and the Marina Hemingway, a harbor located west of Havana, the time-honored site of the competition, which uses the tag-and-release method, to protect marine species.
Talking with the press Escrich stated that dozens of letters were received from all over the world – and in particular the nautical community in the United States – requesting to participate in the Tournament.
Surpassed only by the International Tuna Tournament, in Nova Scotia, Canada and the Tarpon Tournament in Mexico, the Hemingway competition, is without a doubt, a bridge brining Cuba closer to the international nautical community, just as the Nobel Prize for Literature winner and author of The old man and the sea, had wished.
Given its location, Cuba is highly attractive site for sport fishing; the deep basin and trenches of the Caribbean Sea, and the Florida and Bahaman Straits act as ecological barriers, while the great ocean currents bring various marine life to the island.