Crew claims Florida to Cuba powerboat record in choppy seas

HAVANA — A team led by a California-based businessman is claiming a record for a powerboat crossing of the Florida Straits after speeding from Key West to Havana on Thursday.

The crew of the 48-foot boat reported completing the roughly 100-mile (160-kilometer) journey to Cuba in 1 hour and 18 minutes.

They say they averaged nearly 80 mph (129 kph) and hit a top speed of 127 mph (204 kph).

The team was led by British-born Nigel Hook, who runs a data analytics and software engineering firm in California.

American Power Boat Association executive director Patrick Mell said there is no modern record for the route so the run would establish a mark once it is certified by them and the International Union of Motor-boating.

The Hook team said another boat made the same trip in 2015 in an “unsanctioned” time of 1 hour and 51 minutes.

The team is seeking recognition from Guinness World Records.

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