The Cuban team now leads the 64th Ernest Hemingway International Fishing Tournament, where 82 fishermen from 11 countries are participating. The tournament—one of the oldest events of its kind in the world—began on June 10 and will continue until June 14. During this time, teams try to capture the best specimen of the competition species (dorado and marlin), through marking and release, which has been promoted since the beginning of the tournament in order to contribute to the preservation of the Cuban marine habitat. Here are excerpts about today’s events from NAM News Network.
An important feature of tourism and recreation in Cuba, this edition is considered significant for its increased participation, which reflects much of this island’s appeal for recreational sailing. In the Hemingway this year, 22 boats from 11 countries enrolled, five from the U.S. and Canada, four from France and one each from Mexico, Italy, England, Latvia, Spain, Sweden and Russia are in competition.
Such Cuban leadership is based on tradition, with local sailors well versed in this sport, and also in light of the fact that Ernest Hemingway donated his medal for the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature to his fellow Cuban sports-fishermen. Hemingway had established roots on the island, where he lived for more than 20 years and his best friends, as he recognized in life, were simple fishermen from Cojimar, a seaside town on the east side of Havana. Now, and for many years, the tournament starts from the docks of Marina Hemingway, in western Havana, a residential location that includes hotels, restaurants, and the best conditions for berthing and stocking up on water, electricity and food.
The Cuban team held an advantage on Thursday, with a 40.5 pound golden fish and a marlin, and is the first official appearance, at least according to the records of the most recent 20 years, of a group with five experienced fishermen from Jaimanitas, a town adjacent to the marina.
The tournament’s regulation, provides for catch and release for each specimen, with teams accumulating 550 points in the case of blue marlin and 350 for white marlin, or 250 for a sailfish. One point is added for every pound of dorado, wahoo and tuna, in a battle that must be fair and clean, as Hemingway specified.
[Above: 1934 photo of Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston; from http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/_inixl6hukOfM2XcAHDrUg.aspx.]