St. Petersburg to Havana Regatta to set sail

Lloyd Sowers reports

- The old film has an almost dreamlike look. It shows sailing yachts off St. Petersburg en route to Havana. It was the famous 1952 St. Petersburg to Havana Regatta. 

It started in 1930 and ended in 1959, when Castro came to power. Richard Winning was commodore of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for the final race in 1959. Now his son, also named Richard, will lead the return of the regatta next February.

"We have grandsons and sons of sailors that raced in that race and they're going to be sailing in that race back to Cuba," says Winning.

Sailing is another reconnection of historic ties between Tampa Bay and Cuba.

"Our vision is to create a good fellowship amongst the Tampa Bay area, Cuba, and the yachting world," says Winning.

He says up to 70 boats may sail to Havana in the return of the race. 

"It's kind of full circle," says Winning. "Bringing St. Pete and the Tampa Bay area back around again to Havana after all these years."

The race is February 28. It takes three to four days. It's nearly 300 nautical miles from St. Petersburg to Havana.

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