Today is the deadline Sarasota Yacht Club officials set to move ahead with plans for the Sarasota-Havana Regatta, and according to a race organizer, the event is unlikely to go forward.
Vincent DiPano, race committee chairman, said Monday afternoon the club had not yet gotten approval to travel to Cuba for the event, scheduled for May, from the U.S. State Department. The odds of getting word by the Feb. 15 deadline was “probably less than 10%,” he said.
Organizers will meet tonight to make a final decision about this year’s race.
“The process itself is flawed,” DiPano said. “You can only submit the application six months in advance. … But with an event this large, it requires a lot more logistics."
DiPano estimated the club received 600 to 700 inquiries about the regatta. If the race does occur, registration likely would be capped at 150 boats with about seven people per boat.
If organizers do not get state department approval by the end of today, the yacht club will host a Sarasota-South Beach race.
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].