Already over 65 years old, this fishing competition first took place in May 1950, with thirty-six boats including one owned by Ernest Hemingway, having participated in the first ever competition.
One thing which has remained unchanged throughout all of the political struggles and remains stronger and better than ever, is what is known locally as the ‘Torneo Hemingway’ i.e. the Hemingway Tournament.
Taking place in June annually, the competition in English is referred to as the “Ernest Hemingway International Billfishing Tournament”. The event has gone through its own struggles, with the 1980 event for example being cancelled due to a lack of marlin. The event though, became stronger and more prominent in the Cuban sporting events calendar when the brand new Hemingway International Yacht Club was built in Havana marina.
These days the event attracts a quite international crowd including, in recent years, participants from the United States, Australia, Russia, the UK and Canada.
In order to enter the competition, in addition to providing your own boat, there is an entry fee which tends to be around 500 CUC (roughly GBP £350) per team, although it depends on the number of team members you have. There is the option to rent a boat for the competition and this does suit a lot of competitors. Prices for boat hire for the competition will set you back close to GBP £2000. Do NOTE though that this includes the cost of the crew and fishing equipment for the event, so overall it is a reasonable cost.
The main prizes are for catching the largest fish.