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Red tape sinks Sarasota-to-Cuba regatta

The planners of the ambitious Sarasota to Havana Regatta have scrapped their plans to sail 150 boats to Cuba in May after once-optimistic talks with federal officials fell flat.

Because the U.S. Treasury Department did not provide the Sarasota Yacht Club with the needed permits to travel to the embargoed nation by last Tuesday's deadline, the sailors are scrambling to salvage the plans for a much smaller production.

The club will try again next year to revive the regatta, which sailors hail as a more-than-70-year tradition of sailing from the west coast of Florida to the island.

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