The 72nd Ernest Hemingway International Needle Fishing Tournament begins this Monday

The 72nd Ernest Hemingway International Needle Fishing Tournament begins this Monday

HAVANA, May 26  Tomorrow, May 27, the 72nd edition of the Ernest Hemingway International Needle Fishing Tournament begins in Havana. until June 1 will take place in Cuban waters with the participation, according to registrations until last Friday, of 14 teams that bring together 62 competitors from nine countries.

Daybelis Pérez Sandrino, commercial director of the Marinas y Náuticas Marlin SA Company, reported that the competitors come from Germany, Bulgaria, Canada, Cuba, Chile, Spain, the United States, France and South Africa.

In statements to Cubadebate on Friday, she specified that the number of participants could grow since the registration period closes this Monday at 4 p.m.

There will be five days of competition, which will include four days of fishing – three full days and one-half day –, with a free day in which participants will have leisure activities, always linked to the figure of Hemingway and the marine and fishing environment. said Pérez Sandrino.

The teams compete in eight categories and the overall winner, the team that accumulates the most points in all categories, is also awarded.

Pérez Sandrino recalled that the overall winner has the possibility of being photographed with the original cup, donated by Hemingway and kept in the Havana marina. If a team wins three consecutive editions, they can take it to their country for one year, until the next edition.

We have the full support of the Cuban Sport Fishing Federation, which also serves as referee and moderator of the event.

He is the jury, he helps us by establishing the technical regulations, said Marlin’s commercial director and specified that the Hemingway tournament follows the regulations of the International Game Fish Association (IGFA, International Game Fish Association).

It is an event – she added – that takes place in the capture, mark and release modality, friendly to the environment. The beaked species are captured and then returned to their natural habitat. The mark is made with stickers that do not harm the fish and the use of the circle hook is mandatory, also to protect them.

In recent years, the participation of the United States has decreased, previously one of the biggest sponsors of the tournament, which is among the oldest in the hemisphere in sport fishing, only preceded by the Nova Scotia International Tuna Cup, in Canada, and the Tarpon Tournament, in Mexico.

The main market for the Marina Hemingway, not only for its flagship event, this tournament, is North America. Most of the ships that sail in the Caribbean are American, but the policy of the Government of that country regulates the entry of vessels flagged or owned by the United States, or manufactured there, to Cuban ports. There has been a decrease in attendance from that nation, commented Marlin’s commercial director.

In 2016, during Barack Obama’s second term, the largest number of boats competing came from the United States, about 90 of the hundred crews present.

From United States, entire yacht clubs participated. The situation changed under the Administrations of Donald Trump and Joe Biden. This year, so far, there are three American teams, he added.

However, he noted, this has prompted us to open up to other markets. In recent years, we have been able to recover old markets, such as Mexico, Canada and Spain.

He also highlighted that the Hemingway tournament has maintained its international prestige, demonstrated, for example, in the loyalty of participants, including several who have participated for more than 50 years or have passed down participation in the event from generation to generation.

The tournament was held for the first time on May 26, 1950, with the participation of about 20 boats, at the old International Nautical Club of Havana.

Firstly, it had a national character, and from 1978 the international call was opened.

Aboard his yacht Pilar, Hemingway participated from the beginning as a member of the Havana International Nautical Club, which was the first to win three consecutive editions in the first decade of the competition.

The tournament, which adopted the name of the writer at the suggestion of the fishermen, changed its headquarters in 1960 to the Marina Barlovento marina, now Marina Hemingway.

The name remained as a tribute to the author of novels such as Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea, Nobel Prize winner in Literature in 1954, who traveled to Cuba for the first time in 1928 and lived in Havana between 1939. and 1960, establishing a close bond with the country and its people, the fishermen in a prominent place.

The tournament is maintained by the will of the Cuban State to show the potential that Cuba’s seas have for fans of sport fishing.

Only in 2021 was it not celebrated, due to restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.