2015 Winners

The first Pilar Regatta winners were:
  • 1st: White Rhino
  • 2nd: Picaro
  • 3rd: Noctourne
More Details


Would your organization like to be a sponsor of the first Pilar Regatta?

Sponsor Details

Regatta Registration Schedule

  • August 1, 2015
  • NOR Posted
  • October 19, 2015
  • Registration Deadline
  • December 2, 2015
  • Skipper’s Meeting Key West
  • December 3, 2015
  • Race begins Key West
  • December 4, 2015
  • Race ends Varadero Cuba
  • December 7, 2015
  • Cuban Events End


The 2015 Pilar Regatta: Key West Florida USA to Varadero Cuba Thursday December 3, 2015

A new international regatta to ISAF offshore race regulations hosted by the Lake Kegonsa Sailing Club and the Varadero Yacht Club. The Race committee and judges will be composed of members of the USSail Association and the Cuban Sailing Association. International!

The regatta is all inclusive. The entry fee will include slips at Conch Harbor, Key West for two nights, Marina Gaviota slips at Varadero, Cuba for three nights, Awards Party in Gaviota, a taxi fleet of 50’s American car taxis in Varadero to tour Cuba for the regatta participants.

Race management will arrange to have the necessary US visas with Cuban custom and immigrations upon arrival in Marina Gaviota – all costs are included in the entry fee. All inclusive!

The Marina Gaviota in Varadero and Conch Harbor in Key West are superior marine facilities with 110 volt power, water, Wi-Fi in the marinas, the maximum water depth is four meters with slips up to 30 meters in length. Jackie from Kegonsa Regatta, race management and Ken from the Lake Kegonsa Sailing Club have been to Varadero, met with representatives of the Varadero Yacht charters and Marina Gaviota. Both Ken and Jackie are off shore sailors. Jackie will be organizing the paperwork and Ken will be sailing in the regatta.

The Regatta is expected to be limited to no more than twenty five boats, please register early US licenses for participating boats may take up to eight weeks – the US government can be slow. For those boats that would like to stay in Cuban waters, possibly sailing west to Havana or east to Cayo de Santa Marta, race management expects that the Cuban cruising permits, visas and paperwork can be extended.

Key West Race Week starts January 18, 2015; Key West is not a bad place to be over the New Years!

Please Note Pilar Race management is responsible for all visas, boat licenses, cruising permits and marine slips for this regatta in Varadero and Key West. Currently the regatta has a 25 boat maximum

Boat Registration Form

Fill out my online form.

Pilar Regatta On Line Payment

Key West to Varadero, Cuba Sailing Regatta

Entry fees are shown in Section 5.0 of the Notice of Race.

Registration fee can be paid on online or by mailing a check to the address shown in Section 4.3 (pls add like to this section of the NOR).

The US Government is slow and sailboat licenses to Cuba are new not a good combination, race management expects that boat licenses from the Bureau of Industry and Security will take 6 to 8 weeks to obtain from application to issuance. Please register early.

Fill out my online form.

US Boat License to Cuba - Key West to Varadero, Cuba Pilar Regatta

The United States government requires that every boat participating in Pilar Regatta have a license from the Bureau of Industry and Security. All currently needed information for license is provided to race management in the Boat Registration. A license typically takes four to six weeks but could take up to eight weeks to obtain.

Race management will not begin the license process until race management receives the registration payment either online using the Payment link or by mail as described in the Payment section

US Visas to Cuba for All Crew in the Key West to Varadero, Cuba Pilar Regatta

Please download and read the US Cuban Visa Restrictions– Effective January 16th, 2015 issued by the Office of Foreign Asset Control or OFAC.
Click to download and share a PDF of the US Cuban visa explanation.

Race management has organized professional meetings with the Cuban Sailing Association as part of the regatta. Please download the attached affidavit, read, fill in needed information, sign and either scan and email to info@regattadecuba.com or mail to Kegonsa Regattas, 101 Nob Hill Road Suite 100, Madison, Wisconsin. Every member of the crew must complete this affidavit.

Click to download and share a PDF of the US Cuban visa affidavit.

Cuban Visas for All Crew in the Key West to Varadero, Cuba Pilar Regatta

Race management has met with Marina Gaviota staff and Varadero Yacht Charter in Cuba to organize all required Cuban visas, cruising permits, health insurance and immigration matters. Once race management receives a completed boat registration and registration payment than race management will email the boat skipper/registrant a link for the information needed by the Cuban Authorities. Again all communications to the Cuban officials will be done by the race management for all participating boat crews.

2015 Pilar Notice of Race

Key West to Varadero, Cuba Sailing Regatta

NOR Amendment One – September 16, 2015

(Amendments in red, redactions struck through)


Ocean sailing mono hull boats from 30’ LOA and larger are invited to a Skipper’s Meeting to be held at 18:30 hours on Wednesday December 2, 2015 at:

Dantes Bar, Conch Harbor Marina – 951 Carolina Street, Key West Florida


i.       The pursuit starts will begin not before 16:00 hours on Thursday December 3, 2015.

ii.      The Lake Kegonsa Sailing Club and Gaviota Yacht Club, Varadero, Cuba welcomes all competitors to Conch Harbor Marina, Key West.

iii.     Slip arrangements and arrival formalities in Cuba will be handled by the Regatta, including boat license and cruising permit for Cuban waters, visas for crew, arrangement for Cuban immigration and customs to be at Marian Gaviota upon arrival. Cuban health insurance for skipper and crew. The entry fees cover these costs.


Wednesday December 2 , 2015




Grateful Red sponsored blender party at Conch Harbor dock




Race Packet pick up at Dante’s Restaurant


17:30 – 18:30


Skipper’s Meeting, Dante’s restaurant




Pre-Race Cocktails, around the pool



Thursday December 3, 2015




Race starts begin in Key West Harbor



Friday December 4, 2015




Party, Award and Prize Giving at Marina Gaviota Bar



Saturday December 5, 2015




50’s Taxis provided to tour Varadero


12:00 to 5:00


Cuban Sailing Association meeting – information exchange




Cuban Cigar Fiesta



Sunday December 6, 2015




CSA/USSail/LKSC/Race Committee – information exchange




Havana Club afternoon



Monday December 7, 2015




Boats begin leaving at daybreak



NOTE: All boats must vacate slips by Monday, December 7, 2015 at noon


1.0 AUTHORITY/Classes

1.1 The Key West to Cuba Race is a race for ocean racing mono hull boats. PHRF rated boats (with handicaps 150 160 or less) are invited. All boats must have PHRF certificates.Classes of 3 or more boats may be formed to optimize competition among similar boats. Both Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker fleets may be formed.

1.2 The Lake Kegonsa Sailing Club is the Organizing Authority. The race is managed by Kegonsa Regattas LLC .



2.1 The regatta will be governed by the Rules as defined in the current Racing Rules of Sailing (Rules), including US Prescriptions.

2.2 The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) are in use per Part 2 Preamble, sometimes called COLREGS.

2.3 The National Prescriptions of no country, other than the U.S., will apply .



3.1 PHRF boats with a LOA of 30 feet minimum, and rating 150 or less, having submitted a completed entry form, and a valid 2015 PHRF Certificate.

3.2 Crew limits for PHRF boats shall be as listed on their current valid certificate, plus one.

3.3 The minimum number of crew is three in addition to the Skipper. Boats may not exceed the maximum crew in PHRF rules.

3.4 Entries will be limited to 25 boats.



4.1 The entry deadline shall be October 1, 2015 22:00 EST October 19, 2015 0700 EST. Entries may be completed online at www.regattadecuba.com, or the official entry registration can be downloaded, completed and mailed with a check made out to contact and address shown in section 4.3.The registration must include information on the boat engine and diesel capacity for licensing purposes.

Please note: For the Regatta to obtain the necessary visas both US and Cuba, each crew member must complete the crew entry application on line or downloaded and mailed to the address shown in section 4.3.

4.2 A completed signed boat registration, a copy of the boat’s current Official Rating Certificate, and a crew entry application for each crew member must be completed on line or downloaded and mailed to the address in section 4.3.Kegonsa Regatta will email each boat skipper an invoice for the race entry fees and waiver form acknowledging that all boat and crew registration information has been received. The signed waiver form or the electronic acceptance of same on the Race website and the prescribed entry fee for each boat must be received by the final entry deadline.

4.3       Kegonsa Regattas, LLC

101 Nob Hill Road, Suite 100

Madison, Wi 53713

Email:            Info@regattadecuba.com


4.4 No entry fee will be refunded after the entry deadlineCancellation/Refund Policy: As soon as you register, we begin working on the U.S. government boat license.  As a result, we are unable to refund the full entry fee. If a registrant withdraws after registering, the amount refunded is indicated in table 5.1.

If Race Does Not Occur: All registrants will be issued a full refund


5.1 Entry fees are as follows:

Boat LOA

Boat Fee pd by 10/19

Cancellation Refund

# of crew inc. in fee

$/additional crew

30 to 40 feet





40 to 50 feet





50 to 60 feet





60 + feet





Late Documentation Fee: (Late rating certificate or change after October 15, 2015) $100.00 additional fee/change.

5.2 Crew Limitations. The above additional fees are for the crew visas, arrangement for Cuban immigration and customs to be at Marian Gaviota upon arrival.  The boat PHRF rating will determine the boat crew limitations.No crew member can be under 18 years of age at the time of the race.



6.1 The fleet will be divided into PHRF classes with as many classes as dictated by total number of entries. Scratch sheets will be distributed in each race packet at the skipper's meeting, and posted on the race website.



7.1 The course to be sailed shall be from a start line in Key West harbor to the finish line near Cayo Piedras del Norte off Varadero, Cuba.

7.2 The rated distance for the race course is 88.9 nautical miles. Boats will start at their designated start time and the first boat to finish wins. Start times are determined by the race committee using PHRF ratings.

7.3 The distance is not subject to protest or request for redress.  This changes RRS 62.1.



8.1 All competing boats shall carry the appropriate paper nautical charts covering the race course.

8.2 All boats must conform to the current International Sailing Federation Special Regulations Governing Offshore and Oceanic Racing Category 2 with the following changes or additions:

i.       Sufficient fuel to provide range under power of at least 150 miles.

ii.      Operative VHF/FM transceiver with Channels 9, 16, 68, 71 and 72.

(DSC and GMDSS equipped VHF radios are encouraged.)

iii.     Satellite telephone for communication at sea and in Cuba. Currently there is NO US mobile phone service in Cuba

iv.   Life raft need not have a canopy or insulated floor.

8.3 The Race Committee has the right to inspect any boat without prior warning before the start and after the finish of the race. It may reject any entry or deny an award on its findings.



9.1 Each boat is required to be equipped with a SPOT position transponder, be subscribed to the "Track Progress" option offered by SPOT, and provide the Race Committee with the "shared URL" for the purpose of inclusion in the official race tracking program (www.findmespot.com). The unit shall be mounted and operated throughout the race in accordance with the instructions provided. Only the race committee may protest a boat for an alleged violation of this section. Tracking data may not be used as grounds for a protest.

If a boat doesn’t have a SPOT position transponder, one will be provided by the Regatta.  The SPOT fee will be based on the number of SPOTs needed but the SPOT fee will not exceed fifty US dollars per boat.



10.1 During the race, boats may not receive weather, current, or navigational information except from publicized sources available to all competitors. Subscription, password protected or restricted access web pages as well as phone conversations and text messages that contain any of the above information are not allowed. Accessing other information during the race will be considered a violation of the Rules 41 (outside assistance).



11.1 The Skipper and Navigator from each boat should attend the Skipper's meeting to receive final instructions, handicap sheets, and race packets.

11.2 Each boat will be required to supply a full and accurate crew list, including names, addresses and emergency contact information along with an equipment declaration form in order to obtain their race packet.


12.1 Changes or addendums to the Notice of Race or to the Sailing Instructions shall be posted on the website, the official bulletin board at the entrance to the east Conch Harbor dock. Code Flag "L" location if an amendment or notice has been posted and the location of regatta information at Marina Gaviota will be provided at the Skipper’s meeting.

12.2 No notice or amendment(s) affecting the Notice of Race or Sailing Instructions will be posted later than 09:00 hours on the day of the race.



13.1 There will be trophies presented depending on the number of boats racing in the Regatta as follows:

Less than or equal to 15 boats:       1st, 2nd, 3rd

16-25 boats:                              1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th

26 or more boats:                      1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th

13.2 The Pilar Cup will be awarded to the boat that displays the best sailing spirit.The winner of the Pilar Cup will be determined by the Race Management.  Any boat that has crew that is part of the Race Management will not be considered for the Pilar Cup.

13.3 In the event that there is a single class consisting of more than five boats the Regatta will present a trophy to the winner of that class.



14.1 Access the official race website atwww.regattadecuba.com for the Official Notice of Race, Entry Forms and complete information. The Sailing Instructions will be posted on the race website on or before the final entry deadline.



15.1 Marina Gaviota has over 100 slips for boats ranging from 10 meter to 30 meters with a maximum depth of four meters.All docks are floating with potable water, 110 volt power both 30 and 50 amp with marina Wi-Fi.Currently there is no US mobile phone service in Cuba.

15.2 Conch Harbor Marina has approximately 25 slips available for the Regatta.  The slips range from 10 meter to 30 meters with a maximum depth of four meters.All docks are permanent with potable water, pump out facilities, 110 volt power with 30 and 50 amp and marina Wi-Fi.Conch Harbor has a diesel dock.

15.3 Marina Hemmingway in Havana Cuba is an older facility.  Boats are tied along long cement sea walls.  Power and water is available.  Race management has visited the marina.  Race management can extend the Cuban cruising permit to allow sailing to Hemmingway Marina (about 120 nautical miles west of Varadero) or to Cayo de Santa Maria (about 200 nautical miles east of Varadero).



16.1 All displayed advertising must be submitted to Race Management in writing at the address shown 4.3 no later than October 30, 2105.  Both the Organizing Authority and the race management must approve all advertising.Race management will respond to all request for adverting in writing by November 15, 2015.


It is required that all boats carry a minimum of $300,000 liability insurance for the period of the Regatta. Insurance certificates shall be available for inspection upon request.




18.1 Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk.  See RRS 4.  Decision to Race.Neither the organizing authorities, race management nor the host organization will accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta.


Pilar Regatta Events

Event and Day of Event
Wednesday December 2 , 2015
Grateful Red sponsored blender party at Conch Harbor dock
Race Packet pick up at Dante’s Restaurant
17:30 – 18:30
Skipper’s Meeting, Dante’s restaurant
Pre-Race Cocktails, around the pool
Thursday December 3, 2015
Race starts begin in Key West Harbor
Friday December 4, 2015
Party, Award and Prize Giving at Marina Gaviota Bar
Saturday December 5, 2015
50’s Taxis provided to tour Varadero
12:00 to 5:00
Cuban Sailing Association meeting – information exchange
Cuban Cigar Fiesta
Saturday December 6, 2015
CSA/USSail/LKSC/Race Committee – information exchange
Havana Club afternoon
Monday December 7, 2015
Boats begin leaving at daybreak
Conch Harbor web site: http://www.conchharbormarina.com/
Click to download and share a PDF of the Event Schedule.


Boat NameLengthMake
Grateful Red42 ftCC121
Locura92 ftSalthouseNZ/Sloop
Picaro47 ftBeneteau
White Rhino56 ftSwan 56
Island Flyer47 ftCatamaran
Nadia Maria44 ftSloop
Nocturne50 ftMonohull Sloop
Kohatsu30 ftKohatsu
Arethusa60 ftGunboat 60

Sailing Instructions

1.       RULES

1.1   The regatta will be governed by the Rules as defined in the current Racing Rules of Sailing (Rules), including US Prescriptions. The National Prescriptions of no country, other than the U.S., will apply.

1.2   Boats sailing under these rules shall comply with The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea ( IRPCAS), per Part 2 Preamble, when meeting boats that are not racing.

1.3   Any conflicts between these Sailing Instructions and the Notice of race shall be resolved in favor of the Sailing Instructions.

1.4   Competitors are reminded of Rule 4, DECICION TO RACE.

2.       ENTRIES

2.1   Competitors must have entered on-line at www.regattadecuba.com.

2.2   Entrants must meet all ownership, class membership and yacht measurement requirements, and must have completed registration and paid all fees with the regatta organizing authority before becoming official competitors.

2.3   Competitors in PHRF classes must have a current PHRF certificate.


3.1 Notices to Competitors will be made verbally on VHF radio in Key West and posted aboard Grateful Red in Varadero. 


4.1 Any change to these Sailing Instructions (SIs) will be made verbally by VHF radio in Key West.


5.1    Each boat shall comply with the requirements of Appendix G and her class rules with respect to class insignia and numbers unless the Principal Race Officer grants an exception before her start. This modifies Rule 77.


6.1   All signals made ashore shall be displayed from the flag halyard of Grateful Red in Conch Harbor, Key West. When the AP flag is displayed ashore. ‘1 Minute” is replaced with “not less than 60 minutes” in Race Signals AP.


7.1Pursuit individual starting times are shown in Attachment A. In the event of a postponement ashore, the new warning time will be posted and announced in accordance with 3. and 4.

7.2 The warning signal will not be made before 2200 hr December 3, 2015.

8.       RACING AREA

8.1.    The race begins in Key West harbor and ends offshore of Varadero, Cuba.

8.2.    The race crosses the Straits of Florida. Competitors are cautioned that strong and variable currents may be present.

9.       THE COURSES

9.1.    For the purpose of handicapping the race, the course length is 88.2 nm. The course length is not subject to redress. The course has no marks of the course between the startand finish lines.

10.    THE START

10.1    The starting line will be between an orange flag on the balcony of a hotel room in the Key West Hyatt and R”24”Fl R 4S in Key West harbor.

10.2    The warning signal will be the display of the orange line flag in 10.3.

10.3    Before its Preparatory signal, each boat shall check-in with race committee on VHR radio. Each boat shall hail until acknowledged by the race committee.

10.4    A Preparatory signal will be made for each boat.  The signal will be a hail on VHF radio by the race committee four minutes before that boat’s start time. The race committee will attempt to countdown to the start time of each boat on the radio. The failure of any boat to hear the hail or countdown, an untimely hail or countdown, and failure to hail any boats shall not be grounds for granting redress. This changes Rule 26.

10.5    Competitors are reminded to have their IAS transmitter functioning when racing.

10.6    Boats whose preparatory signal has not been made shall keep clear of the starting area and will also keep clear of all boats whose preparatory signal has been made.

10.7    Race Committee will be on station for 20 minutes after the last scheduled boat start time.Any boat that have not started and intend to race will be subject to the Time Limit as noted in 13.

11.    RECALLS

11.1    RC intends to hail the sail numbers of OCS boats after her starting time. As a courtesy, the RC may use VHF radios or a loud-hailer to hail over-early starters. The failure of any boat to hear the hail, an untimely hail of OCS boats, failure to hail any boats, and the order of the boats in the hail shall not be grounds for granting redress. This changes rules RRS 41 and RRS 62.1

11.2    Code flag X will be displayed for a short period with no sounds.  This changes RRS 29.1 and Race Signals.

11.3    Start times are taken from GPS time, which governs. All boats will be responsible for determining their exact start time. The Race Committee will monitor start times of each boat. OCS boats have the option of returning to the start line and restarting, or shall take the penalty as shown in the table below. The penalty will be added t boat’s corrected time.

0 to 10 sec early        penalty of 30 seconds

10 to 30 sec early      penalty of 1 minute

30 to 1 min early       penalty of 3 minutes

1 min to 2 min           penalty of 10 minutes

More than 2 min      disqualified


12.1    The finishing line will be between a staff displaying an orange flag flying on a race committee boat on the starboard end and the finish mark on the port end.

12.2    The finish mark will be a floating channel marker G Fl G 5S offshore from Varadero, Cuba. The mark is located at approximately N23 15.118 W 81 06.300.  This is approximately, 1 nm at a bearing of 058 from the lighthouse on Cayo Piedras del Norte.

12.3    Competitors shall hail race committee approximately 5 minutes before they finish.

12.4    Competitors are reminded of the US Prescription to Rule 34. The race is planned so that all boats should finish in daylight, when the Race Committee plans to be on station.

12.5    After the finish,boats should use the marked channel to proceed to Graviota Marina.  There are shoal areas and coral heads outside the channel.  Hail the Graviota Marina Harbormaster, on VHF 68, when entering the harbor.

12.6    Boats are requested to display the Cuban flag as a courtesy and required to display a code flag “Q” until cleared by customs.


13.1    Boats failing to finish within 8 hours (the finishing window) after the first boat in its class sails the course and finishes will be scored Time Limit Expired (TLE). The points awarded for boats scored TLE will be the whole number (rounding 0.5 upward) equal to the number of boats starting the race minus 50% of the number of boats scored TLE.This changes RRS 35, A4, A5 and A11.

13.2    The time limit is 24 hours from the warning signal.


14.1    Scoring Penalties and Protest Procedures shall apply as outlined in Appendix T, sections A and B apply. T1, “Penalties at the Time of the Incident” applies. The first two sentences of Rule 44.1 are changed to read:“A boat may take a One-Turn Penalty when she may have broken a rule of Part 2 or Rule 31 when racing. However, when she may have broken a rule of Part 2 while in the zone around a mark other than a starting mark, her penalty shall be a Two-Turns Penalty.”

15.    SCORING

15.1 The Low-Point Scoring system of Appendix A shall apply. One race shall be completed to constitute an event.No scores shall be excluded. This changes Rule A2.

16.    SAFETY

16.1    Any boat that has checked in, and then withdraws before finishing a race, shall notify the race committee on the water, or, if that is not possible, by email to racinbill@gmail.com.Failure to comply with this requirement may result in disqualification from the event

16.2    See the NOR for safety equipment and boat tracking information.


17.1    A yacht shall neither make radio transmissions while racing, nor receive radio communications not available to all yachts.  This restriction also applies to mobile telephones.  This does not apply to situations that threaten safety of life and/or property.

17.2    The race committee will monitor VHF channel 68.

18.    PRIZES

18.1    Trophies will be awarded at the discretion of the organizing authority in classes with three or more registered boats.


Attachment A

Starting Schedule

Warning Signal                                     2200 hr. December 3, 2015

Preparatory signal for each boat will be made by VHF 5 minutes before their start time.

Quixotic Start                           22:19:22

Grateful Red Start                     22:39:57

Nocturne Start                          22:50:15(rally class)

Picaro Start                              22:54:39

White Rhino Start                      22:54:39

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