The Team


2014-07-18_1633Captain George Bellenger – George is one of the Founders of the Havana Challenge and is the veteran of 12 crossings of the Gulf Stream on a Hobie 16’ Beach Catamaran. George conceived the idea of the race including doing his first round-trip crossing singlehanded and without a chase boat! George is a well-known Key West based local guide and sailing and windsurfing instructor of 20+ experience.


carlaCarla Bellenger has sailed crossed the Florida Straits on a Hobie 16 three times.  She has 20 years of experience working on the waters of the Florida Keys and the Gulf Coast of Alabama.  U.S.C.G. certified Charter Captain since the year 2000.   A member of the Florida Keys Wild Dolphin Alliance, current board member of the Key West Attractions Association and is involved with many other wonderful organizations on the island.


Joe Weatherby Joe Weatherby – Joe has been a Key West charter boat captain for almost 30 years. He is also a scuba diving instructor. Joe has vast experience leading all types of excursions in the Florida Keys, Dry Tortugas, Cuba, Asia and other parts of the world. His Vandenberg Project has recently been awarded the Society of American Travel Writers’ prestigious Phoenix Award for Eco-Tourism. Joe pioneered some of the earliest of this type of travel to Cuba as the “anti-rafters” and is a veteran of many crossings between Key West and Havana, four of them on a Hobie 16’. Joe’s other businesses/interests include: Artificial Reefs International ( his award winning company that specializes in sinking large, ex military ships creating the world’s most popular artificial reefs for scuba diving and recreational fishing ,“The Sinking World” (, another award winning company which specializes in deploying unique underwater art galleries worldwide and Formula H2O and the Wreck Racing League (, an underwater racing league that uses Diver Propulsion Vehicles to race while scuba diving. The Formula H2O and Wreck Racing League activities have transformed into a popular fundraising mechanism for Special Operations Forces Bionic Warriors, a wounded veteran’s organization. Joe is a true adventurer above, on and below the water. His natural good nature, ready-for-anything leadership style ,coupled with a full expectation of success, have always lead to fun, winning efforts.