Report on the Fotosub 2012 on Cuba25.06.2012
This international underwater photography competition in Cayo Largo / Cuba was first planned to serve as a test run for the 14th CMAS World Championship of Underwater Photography. Here is why this test, planned to run from the 20th to the 24th of May 2012, did not take place after all, as reported by Jürgen Warnecke.
Arrival and transfer
Those having survived the 11-hour flight from Europe to the Caribbean without jetlag and joint pains, had to face a great struggle with the authorities at the airport. This included following the regulations for obtaining a visa to the letter and having to explain to the customs officers the purpose of carrying underwater cameras. The permitted weight limit is strictly controlled for the return flights as well (each additional kg costing approximately $20). Afterwards comes the exhausting search for the responsible travel agency, which in our case was CUBATUR. We came to know about their competence only after repeated inquiry. After a long and tiring journey, we finally arrived to the hotel Occidental Miramar Cuidad de la Habana and were placed in our rooms, subsequently to further complications. After a day's stay, we were taken by bus to the national airfield along with several participants of the competition and arrived to Cayo Largo following a one-hour flight in a 30-seater propeller plane. It was obvious that the people in charge of Mintur had taken over because we were warmly welcomed with music and dancing.
Preparations and the hotel
The hotel of Playa Blanca/Cayo Largo itself was absolutely suitable for a CMAS competition. The participants present had no complaints and found that all technical and spatial circumstances were suitable for the organisation of such a competition. The situation of the jury however, was less pleasing.
Xavier Duran, the president of the Sport Committee of the CMAS, and Jürgen Warnecke of the CMAS VISUAL COMMISSION arrived to experience the setup and the progress of this FOTOSUB and to adjust it to the requirements of the World Championships.
Therefore, we had also agreed to act as members of the jury of this competition. Of course we also wanted to visit the diving spots to check necessary criteria to ensure the smoothness of the competition.
First the jury was told that diving is not permitted because it would result in the queuing of the every day appointments. After that the jury was assigned to a bungalow about 15 kilometres away in a tourist village of which the two bedrooms with two beds served as a rather poor shelter. These conditions are not suitable in 2013 for an international jury.
As mentioned above, the real test run for the World Championships did not take place. It literally fell into the water, because a medium typhoon and two days of tropical rain made diving impossible and dangerous for the participants.
Therefore the jury was forced to make observations and review all planned categories based on the only one good diving day.
There are plenty of things to be done in order to successfully organize this event. We made clear statements to the responsible team and demanded the fulfilment s of the CMAS General Rules.
Of course you can't blame the Cuban Federation for the weather conditions. However, it is to be considered whether the date was appropriately chosen.
Therefore, the inspection of the technical conditions as well as security regulations could not be carried out.
The CMAS VISUAL COMMISSION will present a relevant report shortly.
In the photo gallery you will find some photos for your preparations for the 14th CMAS World Championship of Underwater Photography.