Nigel Hook has announced that this June, his 77 Lucas Oil SilverHook offshore powerboat team and driver, Jay Johnson, will challenge the current endurance world record from Key West to Cuba and that they will also attempt a new, round trip world record.
This record, the Lucas Oil Ocean Cup – Key West to Cuba, will be the second Ocean Cup presented by Lucas Oil, the first was established in 2013 as the Lucas Oil Ocean Cup – Golden Gate to Queen Mary.
The Lucas Oil Ocean Cup – Key West to Cuba record attempt is scheduled for the week of June 19-23.
It will be an internationally approved record sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association (APBA), governed by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) with race management by Powerboat P1.
Another element of this event will be to support the kids from the Key West Community Sailing Centre, a non-profit organisation.
When asked why Cuba, Hook said;
A Cuba record always been in my mind since my first race in Key West and, for many reasons, the time is right now. During our recent meeting with the Commodore of the Hemingway International Yacht Club (Havana, Cuba), it became obvious that Commodore Escrich and I share a similar passion for ocean sports.
Commodore Escrich and I have started a special friendship and with his support, we plan for this to become an annual event!
There is a strong history of offshore racing between Cuba and the US dating back to 1922.
The speed record will begin in Mallory Square (Key West) and the start timer will be triggered just south of Sunset Key.
The timer stops at the channel marker in front of El Morro Castle Havana, Cuba (Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro).
After crossing the line and setting that one-way record, Jay and I will run up the Malecón coastline which is Cuba’s most famous sea-side avenue, to do a flyby of the US Embassy before circling back around and touching land in Havana Harbour for a brief interlude with our friends in Cuba!
The return leg will be straight back to Key West setting the reverse, round trip world record from Cuba to Key West.
Event Director, Karen Angle, joined Hook and Johnson on their recent reconnaissance mission where she introduced them to Commander Derek Cromwell, Coast Guard Liaison to the United States Embassy La Habana, Cuba.
The meeting with Commander Cromwell provided important insight into the logistical planning of this event