Florida Powerboat Club Embarked on a Once in a Lifetime Adventure
Check out this awesome feature by Speed on the Water, recapping our recent trip to Cuba!
Expecting nothing less, members of the Florida Powerboat Club were treated to the adventure of a lifetime as the club embarked on a historic event to the island nation of Cuba.
Like pretty much everyone who heard that the FPC was planning a trip to Cuba in mid-May, I thought it would be pretty neat to be part of the first powerboat rally to the country, which recently restored diplomatic relations with the United States, in more than 50 years. Limited to just 20 boats—17 ended up making the 110-mile run from Key West, Fla., to Havana Harbor in Cuba—the event was practically guaranteed to be as memorable as any boating trip imaginable. Let’s just say everyone in attendance will never forget the adventure.
For those of us who couldn’t make the trip, the next best thing is to hear it firsthand from several participants who were lucky enough, brave enough and slightly crazy enough to join the club for its inaugural Florida-Havana Powerboat Rally. So, starting with some of the most enthusiastic FPC members—Mark and Eileen Fischer, who own OffLeaseOnly and BoatsDirectUSA—I figured the best way to tell this story was to let them tell it.
The Fischers, who reside in Key Largo and have taken their boats to the Bahamas plenty of times, were up for the adventure from the day FPC President Stu Jones announced the club would be organizing the run to Cuba.
“I knew the run was a long shot and I knew it would be a rough one, but all I can say is that I was happy to be in the boat I was in,” said Mark Fischer, who drove his new Deep Impact 399 Cabin model with quad Mercury Racing Verado 350 engines. “It was a rough ride but nothing we couldn’t handle. We just took our time, and it was all worth it for the reception we received when we arrived. They rolled out the red carpet for us. The boat parade was unlike anything we’ve ever seen and the yacht club was very welcoming.
“We had a good mix of boats with us—you could tell most people had never seen boats like ours, or at least that many in one place,” he continued. “It was definitely an experience we’ll never forget. In a way, it was like going back in time with all of the old classic cars everywhere. There also were some beautiful buildings and amazing architecture to see.”
Even though he didn’t bring his own boat, longtime FPC member Cass Shewbart had a great time in the Florida-Havana Powerboat Rally. Shewbart joined fellow Texan Bill Robbins and his crew for the run to Cuba in Robbins’ Cigarette Racing Team 39 Top Fish with quad Mercury Verado 300 engines, which he said provided a solid ride in the rough water.
“I’m a history buff so being able to see the architecture was cool, even if pretty much everything we looked at had little to no maintenance in years or decades even,” said Shewbart who owns a Cigarette 38 Top Gun. “It’s sad to see stuff in such disrepair. The biggest downside to me was the communication but that’s because I run my business via my cell phone. Other than that I had a great time. The people were wonderful and they all seemed happy that we were there.”