This makes Klüh the first since 1958 to make the trip from the U.S. to Cuba thanks to special U.S. permission - a historic event given the more than 50 years of tension between the U.S. and Cuba (a similar speed record last took place in 1958, when the boat took 6 hours and 23 minutes to make the trip to Havana).
US Coast Guard accompanied Apache Star
Accompanying the speedboat Apache Star Apache Star was a helicopter as well as several U.S. Coast Guard vessels, which were staggered along the course following the record-breaking run. Also a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was in action (the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter turned away about 15 miles from the territory of Cuba).
Obama wrote Klüh
The record-breaking trip was preceded by no less than 3 years of preparations after the U.S. government refused until recently due to political tension with Cuba. Together with several law firms in Miami, Washington, Madrid and Havana, Klüh fought for this exceptional license, the last approval from the US government reached Klüh only at the beginning of July 2015. Even Barack Obama personally intervened and wrote Klüh a letter regarding his plan to bring the Apache from Key West to Cuba.
"No matter what the weather, I'm going".
Since the crossing was only for August 1, Klüh accepted even possible extreme bad weather: "No matter what the weather, I'm going," Klüh said before the trip. The trip was indeed a challenge and demanded a lot from the crew (see How dangerous is the crossing?).
People's festival in Havana
The Hemingway International Yacht Club and the people of Cuba gave a great reception to the arrival of the Apache Star, as this sporting event was opposed by the years-long American trade embargo. A boat welcomed the Apache Star in the harbor, Roger then sailed a lap in front of thousands of Cubans. Roger's entire family also attended the reception in Cuba and were able to watch the Apache Star cross the finish line.
The crew will stay in Havana until Monday and then bring the Apache Star back to Key West - trying to break today's record again!