Roger Klüh: „Kuba wartet auf die Apache Star“

Roger Klüh: "Cuba is waiting for the Apache Star"

In an interview with Boot Online, Roger Klüh tells details and background to his project: world record journey from the USA to Cuba with his powerboat Apache Star
Apache Star You read Roger Klüh: "Cuba is waiting for the Apache Star" 6 minutes Continue Done: Roger Klüh completes a record journey from the USA to Cuba

BOOT ONLINE: How did the acquisition of the old "Apache Star", which was successful in the early 90s, come about?

ROGER KLÜH: That was in January 2012, when I visited the Apache shipyard in America after more than 10 years to see the Apache Star boat builder again. When we visited this dilapidated gem was lying in the boatyard. In the days that followed, I thought about it, thinking about the fact that I was allowed to be there at the World Cup in the early 1990s – that is, at the birth. As I did so, I mentally played through the process of rebuilding, which eventually led to the acquisition of this gem.

Weißes Powerboat Apache Heritage im Wasser

BOOT ONLINE: You plan to sail the Apache Star from Miami to Havana in record time. How did this idea come about? Is it the sporting desire for a new record? Or is there a deeper meaning here, such as international understanding?

ROGER KLÜH: Not only is the boat a real gem and it won the Speedboat World Championships in Key West in 1992 the first time it took part, it has a special meaning for me, since I was in 1993 at the second record. I fell in love with the boat immediately, it was love at first sight, so to speak, and that's why I associate the boat with an extraordinary experience.

And when I was back in America after 10 years and looking across the Atlantic to Cuba, I had the idea of ​​taking the boat back to its place of success or to its success a third time.

The boat simply has an extraordinary history and is a legend in the USA. It is the first speedboat with a V-hull in which you can cover long distances at high speed while seated. Back in 1992, the boat won the world championship title in all categories without being tested. In 1993 it won the title again at the same World Cup that I was there live. After that it was quiet around the boat, it was like missing... Reason: The owner at the time had other priorities, but didn't want to part with the boat.

Of course, the project can be seen as a sporting event that has never existed in this form before. But I also have a deep friendship with the people in Cuba, and after all, nobody has completed the route since 1963 - I wanted and want to change that.

Einblick in das Cockpit des neon-orangenen Powerboats Apache Star

BOOT ONLINE: Can you tell us a bit about how much effort it took to refit the Apache Star?

ROGER KLÜH: The shipyard worked on this boat for no less than 2 years, all work was done by hand. 3 months work was done on the fuselage core alone, 1.1 tons removed, then rebuilt.

I even developed my own color, but it's difficult to see it in photos or videos, or only in real life. I couldn't have the paint produced in America either, so I had to go to Europe to a German supplier who had it produced in Belgium. Even the helmets are bespoke, the Recaro racing bucket seats have been personally fitted to us, the interior is upholstered in Bentley leather.

Also unique: the new hull has a free-floating titanium floor, which is fixed in the hull on a double suspension mount. The ground then gives way and is therefore able to absorb the extreme blows.

The disk is also something special: It was developed in the USA and is also used in fighter jets. The pane was also tinted green, which was another challenge and took another 3 months.

We also developed the Apache Star logo ourselves. For example, the two stars stand for the two World Championship titles, the number 50 for the start number 50 at the time.

A total of around 7,000 hours of work went into the Apache Star.Of course you could have built a new boat, but it was clear to me from the start that it would only be this boat, especially since the hull is almost indestructible even in high waves

Neon-Orangenes Powerboat Apache Star während der Fahrt

BOOT ONLINE: What is the engine power of the Apache Star today?

ROGER KLÜH: The Apache Star has 2 Mercury Racer BI-Turbo, each with 1,350 hp, i.e. a total of 2,700 hp with a total weight of 7.5 tons.

In initial testing, we reached a speed of 115 knots, which testing revealed the screws were too small. We have now changed that, so that an increase in performance of up to 15% is possible with the new screws.

Antriebe des neon-orangenen Powerboats Apache Star im Wasser

BOOT ONLINE: What is the current phase of the project?

ROGER KLÜH: In 10 months of preparation and with the help of lawyers, we tried to get a special permit. However, the US government does not want to issue a permit for the trip for the time being, which is very disappointing. And this despite the fact that we submitted a detailed 39-page dossier to the White House with the special permit.

On the part of Cuba, there is in any case extraordinary support for the project, both from the government and from the people in Cuba itself. The wording of the dossier has been agreed with the Cuban government, for example, and the Hemingway Yacht Club Havana supports the project in all matters . Cuba even planned to celebrate this unique event for two days, including an Olympic reception with Cuban Olympic athletes.

In any case, the project would have been a great gesture for Cuba, which is not seen and understood politically but as an understanding and friendly action.

With incomprehensible reasons, however, the US government is currently saying "Yes, we can't" and does not allow a German citizen to steer a boat under the German flag from Miami to Cuba.

But that's no reason to give up and it's only a matter of time. In any case, the people in Cuba support the project, which leads me to only one conclusion: Cuba is waiting for the Apache Star, so let's not make them wait too long!

Das neon-orange Powerboat Apache Star im spiegelglatten Wasser des HafensRoger Klüh im Cockpit seines Powerboats Apache Star

Source: Boot Online


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