2015 Pensacola a La Habana sail race

 HAVANA, may 28  The Pensacola Yacht Club gives preliminary notice of an offshore rally and race from Pensacola, Florida in October, 2015 to the Hemingway International Yacht Club near Havana, Cuba.

The rally and race is intended for experienced sailors and seaworthy cruising sailboats. The rally and race will be conducted consistent with the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2013-2016 including US Sailing Prescriptions, the GYA-PHRF prescriptions, and with the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions to be distributed at later date. The start for the Cuba rally race will be October 31st, 2015.

The race management will be biased towards cruiser sailboats with the objective of doing an initial “trial balloon” race to Cuba to consider the feasibility of a recurring series, encouraging cruiser type sailboat participation, and controlling participant costs. To accomplish these ends the organizing committee has planned the rally and race to include:

° Placing the full responsibility on the participating skippers to ensure the seaworthiness of their vessels using the US Safety Equipment Requirements as a guideline, and the competency of their crews. Some equipment will be mandated by the committee, and this will include offshore communication (SSB or Sat phone) and tracking.

° A starting window of up to three days to avoid poor weather at the discretion of either the race committee or participating skippers.

° A Bermuda start so that the vessels will finish closer together, and the start will not be en masse.

° Including classes of Classic Cruisers (older than 25 years, with a SA/D of less or equal to than 16); Modern Cruisers (newer than 25 years old with a SA/D of less or equal to 20); Racer Cruisers, and Multihull Cruisers. The organizing authority will have the authority to make specific exceptions if warranted and necessary.

° Including handicap adjustments for size, material, and age of sails; cruising equipment adding weight (dinghy, davits, radar, other gear not normally found on racers); cruising propellers, cruising canvas left in place (dodger, etc). Specifics will be included in the notice of regatta.

All participants in the race will require licensing from the Department of Commerce; and, instructions will be provided to entrants. The anticipated time frame for issuance of individual licenses is thirty to 45 days; and, individual applications should be made as soon as practical.

If you are interested, plan on it and let us know. Additional information, including a notice of rally and race, will be distributed in the next 45 days. Feel free to contact Bob Kriegel (850) 455-7695 or Dave Oerting, PYC Fleet Captain, (850) 444-6512 with any questions or comments.