The Gulf Stream Shakedown is the first event of race week. It will involve all racers sailing approximate 15 miles south from Key West, around a race committee yacht and returning to the starting beach in Key West. LeMans start. This race, while competitive, will also serve to give crews a last opportunity to test communication and safety gear, sailing characteristics under racing loads and sailing techniques just prior to crossing to Havana.
#2 Havana Leg
The Havana Leg will be the Key West-to-Havana leg of the race. LeMans start in Key West finishing in Marina Hemmingway.
#3 The Malecon
The Malecon will be a series of races that include the US based sailing teams as well as Cuba based sailing teams including the Cuba National Sailing Team and Olympic sailing competitors. Traditional start. A youth event involving young sailors from the US and Cuba as part of the Havana Challenge is in development
Race Schedule of Events
1st annual Havana Challenge Series will take place May 16th thru 21st
Wednesday night, May 13th – Welcome Rally at Schooner Wharf kicks off 6:30pm – Participants pick up your schwag by 8:30pm – Rum Specials, Cigar Smokin and getting in the mood for Cuba! RSVP here.
Thursday night, May 14th – Captain’s Meeting @ Higgs Beach Pavilion and party with live music at Salute. The band, Patrick and the Swayzees, plays from 5:30-8:30 with Captain’s Mtg set to start at 6:30. Some of the Lower Keys Flow Tribe will be out on the beach with hula hoops and other fun so bring the family and make it a great night at the beach!
Boats stay there overnight for the Shakedown departure the next day.
Friday, May 15th – Shakedown departure from Higgs at noon with Hobie Cats returning to Southernmost Beach around 2pm. Boat viewing and Happy Hour party at the Southernmost Beach Café from 4-7pm sponsored by Papa’s Pilar Rum! Get a complimentary plate of carved Cuban Roast Pig with purchase of a Papa’s Pilar Mojito!
Saturday, May 16th – Sunrise departure from Southernmost Beach – Conch Shell Sendoff with LeMans race start around 7:30am. If you aren’t lucky enough to be on a boat to Cuba, enjoy breakfast and Bloody Mary’s at Southernmost Beach Café after launch!
Welcome party at Marina Hemmingway, hosted by Commodore Escrich.
Sunday, May 17th – Welcome Ceremonies in the afternoon hours
Monday, May 18th – Schooner sailing with Cuban and US Youth Sailors
Tuesday, May 19th– Race Old Town Havana
Wednesday, May 20th – Mixed crew fun sail at Marina Hemmingway in the morning. Closing Ceremonies in the evening hours.
Thursday, May 21st – Return to Key West – Bragging ensues at the Green Parrot
Friday, May 22nd – Awards Ceremony, Glory Basking and a Helluva Party at Turtle Kraals starting at 7pm (after Turtle Races). Welcome back The Havana Challenge participants and find out who won the races! Turtle Kraal’s is offering a $4 Rum Punch Special and extending their Happy Hour appetizer prices for the partygoers so come out and hear all about this historic event. Tall tales of high adventure are sure to be in abundance!