Old pictures from Cuba and notes by Gonzalo “Old Man” Diaz.
The first picture seems to belong to when the new “boat house” or “yachting house”, as it was called in our Club by all our members, was being built. What you are seeing there is the strait of Florida, the Atlantic Ocean. Closer to the shore you can see the newly concrete built snipe storage. I think I can count 16 snipe masts.
The boat may be the “Comodoro Rasco” owned by the Club but named after Comodoro Manuel Rasco. That is the boat used as a signal boat for all our racing. It was already there at our Club when I started sailing snipes in 1945 and it was still operating in 1961 when our Club was taken over by the communist government. Rasco owned boat was the Shangri-La and it was a larger boat, like a 50-60 footer.
Picture # 3 is another view of the newly constructed snipe stable.
Picture # 4 shows Jorge Mantilla and Jesus Barrazal approaching the hoist after a race. Mantilla with Barrazal and with Carlos Sela (el Cheque) won several Cuban Snipe Nationals and always placed among the first three in our Nationals. He also placed among the first three in Worlds and Western Hemispheres in the 50’s He should have won one Worlds but that is a long story.
Picture # 5 is probably a trophy presentation. From the flags hanging behind them I gather it could be the 1951 Worlds or 52 Western Hemisphere. Looks like Mantilla and Barrazal are receiving trophies. Far right is the best closeup I have seen from Comodoro Manuel Rasco and to the left of him is Gonzalo Melendez, the Cuban National Snipe Secretary, he was very instrumental for the advancement of the Snipe Class in Cuba and a snipe competitor on its own. He imported the first american built light wood snipe to Cuba and also the first nylon sails. he put us on the run to modernize our boats and buy new sails!
Picture # 6 from Left to right: Mantilla, Carlos Sela (el Cheque) (That is why Fred Schenck named his Snipe # 10101 “Chequendeque”), Clemente (Mente) Inclan (my hero) and Carlitos Inclan, his crew. They are in front of the old wood “boat house”. You can see snipe activity in the back where we used to have the wood snipe stables before they built the new ones. See that little balcony in this picture? That is the boat house library where I spent many Sundays afternoon looking at Yachting Magazines of the 30’s and 40’s and where I really got hooked with sailing.
Gonzalo “Old Man” Diaz
Other photos Miramar Yacht Club