Skillful fishermen from 16 countries experienced a swell of emotions as they competed in the 62nd Ernest Hemingway International Marlin Fishing Tournament. This year's event was held, as usual, just off the coast of Havana, in a new development that strengthens the current state of the island's marine recreation.
French yacht “Marlin X” won the tournament this year, an event held from May 28th to June 2nd and that annually attracts one hundred fishers from the United States, Ukraine, Mexico, Latvia, Italy, Venezuela, Russia, Holland, Spain, Ghana, Canada, Guatemala, Ireland, Great Britain and of course the host country Cuba.
The tournament, which is one of the oldest competitions in its category, has been applying the “tag and release” method since 1998, a method established by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) to make the sport more environmentally friendly.
The event starts off the coast of Havana, in an area experienced fishermen once christened “the Hemingway Mile”, since it covers the places frequented by the famous author of American literature; author of novels such as For Whom the Bell Tolls, who gave his name to this competition.
Organizers recalled that this year the tournament was part of the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba (on May 21st), the tournament's headquarters and main promoter. For many historians, this type of recreational sailing event has been held in Cuba since May 1936, although it was formally agreed upon to set 1950 as its official starting date.
The competition received a pivotal boost in 1992 with the creation of the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba, located in the marina with the same name, and with the support of one of the most enthusiastic leaders of the sport in recent times, Commodore José Miguel Díaz Escrich.
The Ernest Hemingway International Marlin Fishing Tournament is for the most of its participants, one of the best sailing events of the Caribbean and the high light of the year. The next date for this fun fishing event is scheduled to be held from June 3rd to 7th, 2013 in the same waters and once again organized by the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba.
Winners of the 62nd Ernest Hemingway Marlin Fishing Tournament:
1. France, Marlin X yacht. Won the “Tag and Release” and “First Catch” awards. Team members: Gerard Aprile, Norbert F. Chassery, Bruno Leonardi, Catherine M. Sauvage, Gilles Plichon, and crew members Conrado Moreno Hernández and Jorge Luis Ferra.
2. Ukraine, Marlin XI yacht. Team members: Sergiy Levchenko, Oleksandr Tupytskyy, Iroslav Panchyshyn, Oleh Ulinets, and crew members Alejandro Cordero and Alberto Ruedas.
3. France, Veneciana II yacht. Team members: Jean Ives Pnaud, Claude Simon, Georges J. Marcel, Jaques Dumas and crew members Florencio Moreno and Gilberto González.