U.S. sailors in Havana for speedboat rally

Boatmen from the United States enjoy the cruising with their own vehicles along the shore of Havana on May 17, a hilarious scene unseen in decades.

(Soundbite) Curtis Watkins, U.S. Boatman
“We have been very excited to come to Cuba and it is amazing for us. This is very cool.”

Seventeen speedboats converge at the Cuban capital from Miami, to participate in the rally organized by the Florida Powerboat Club of America and the International Club of Ernest Hemingway in Cuba.

(Soundbite) Jose Manuel Escrich, Director of Yacht Club of Cuba
“We are showing the world that the sea, the scene of historical events and a source of prosperity for different countries can also be a scenario of love and friendship between our peoples.”

Eighty five crew members anchor their pet vessels at noon along the shore, where an exhibition automatically takes shape for hundreds of Cubans to watch.

(Soundbite) Robert Brightley, U.S. Boatman
“I think it is a great opportunity for us to appreciate a new culture and I hope that in time we can have more exchanges.”

This rally has been the first of its kind in more than 50 years and the display will remain open for three days.

For the remaining months of 2016, 18 boat-sailing contests are scheduled between Cuban and the United States, as part of the direct results of the restoration of bilateral ties in July 2015.

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