Thus, Klüh is the first since 1958 to receive the trip from the USA to Cuba thanks to a special US permit - a historic event given the tension between the USA and Cuba that has lasted for more than 50 years (a similar speed record was last held in 1958 instead, the boat needed 6 hours and 23 minutes for the trip to Havana).
US Coast Guard escorted Apache Star
The speedboat Apache Star Apache Star was accompanied by a helicopter and several US Coast Guard ships, which followed the record run in staggered sequence on the course. A
US Coast Guard helicopter was also in action (the US Coast Guard helicopter turned about 15 miles from Cuban territory).
Obama wrote Klüh
The record drive was preceded by no less than 3 years of preparations, after the US government refused until recently due to the political tension with Cuba. Together with several law firms in Miami, Washington, Madrid and Havana, Klüh fought for this exceptional license. Klüh only received the last approval from the US government in early July 2015. Even Barack Obama intervened personally and wrote Klüh a letter in relation to it his plan to bring the Apache from Key West to Cuba.
"It doesn't matter what the weather, I'll drive"
Since the crossing was only valid for August 1st, Klüh even accepted the possibility of extreme bad weather: "It doesn't matter what the weather, I'll drive," said Klüh before the trip. The journey was indeed a challenge and demanded a lot from the crew (see How dangerous is the crossing?).
Popular festival in Havana
The Hemingway International Yacht Club and the people of Cuba gave the arrival of the Apache Star a warm welcome after years of American trade embargo prevented this sporting event from happening. A boat received the Apache Star in the harbor, and Roger then did a lap in front of thousands of Cubans. Roger's entire family was also present at the reception in Cuba and was able to follow the Apache Star's finish line.
The crew will stay in Havana until Monday and then bring the Apache Star back to Key West - and try to break today's record again!
Source: Boot Online