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U.S. and Argentina win Cuban Fishing Tournament

  • 17-Jun-11 15:50
  • Cuba
  • Latin American Herald Tribune

Last Saturday, Cuba's Hemmingway Billfishing Tournament closed with winning teams from the U.S. and Argentina taking up 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. This year's event marked the 50th anniversay of Hemmingway's death, a writer and enthusiastic fisherman.

U.S. and Argentina win Cuban Fishing Tournament

A proof that political animosities don't get in the way of good sporting practices and a professional attitude to sport challenges, the American team recently won the first prize at one of Cuba's main fishing events.

Last weekend, during the finals of the 61st International Ernest Hemingway Billfishing Tourament, the United States triumphed by taking home 1st and 3rd place, while Argentina took second place.

Previously, before the events took place, the organisers had complained that American President Barack Obama's administration had prevented approximately 20 fishing boats from heading to the island to participate in the competition.

"Hopefully the Obama administration will realize that a fishing tournament, even more than a tourist and sports event, is an encounter between peoples, a bridge of friendship," tournament spokesman Jose Miguel Diaz told reporters.

However, despite these inconveniences, the U.S. was still the most represented country in terms of number of participants, as various teams came over for the opportunity of enjoying Cuba holidays while participating in one of the island's major fishing events. During the competition a toal of 21 fishing yachts with fishermen from 14 countries participated.

The U.S. team whose members included: Nicholas Czeher, Christian Czeher, Nicolas A. Gonzalez, Graig Ahnt and Jay Lanigan, scooped up 1350 on four catches, making them the overall winners at the event.

Marina Bella, from Argentina, won second place by accumulated 1050 points on three valid catches.

Regrettably, only 13 valid catches were made during the tournament and bad weather in the waters of northern Havana was to blame. This combined with the low volume of fish in the waters, which Jose Diaz blames on global warming, resulted in crews catching fewer fish and reporting as many as 18 other billfish who were hooked but managed to get away.

An unclaimed 3rd place was awarded to another boat from the U.S while the prize for the best dolphin, which weighed 10 kg, went to the Mexican team of Alba Solaro II.

The countries with the biggest presence at the event were Russia and the U.S, each with four teams and three teams respectively. Other participating countries included: Cuba, Italy, Mexico and Canada entered two boats each, while Germany, Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Guatemala, Britain and France, who all had one entry each.

Providing a great way of enjoying holidays in Cuba while participating at one of the most important international fishing events, this year’s event marked the 50th anniversary of the legendary writer this tournament is after. This year marked 50 years since the death of the writer, sportsman, fisherman, hunter, and adventure Ernest Hemingway, who lived most of his late years in the country.

The Hemingway International Billfishing Tournament is recognised by the International Game Fish Association, or IGFA, and the winner of this major fishing competition, gets a slot to compete in the 2012 IGFA Offshore World Championship, scheduled to take place in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The rules for participating require that competitors follow tag-and-release practices to ensure conservation of the species. So for those who feel they’ve got what it takes to make it, a Cuba holiday during the tournament might prove doubly enriching.

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