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Thu, August 28, 2003
Cuban cigar maker rolls biggest smoke in the world - 14 metres long

HAVANA (AP) - A veteran Cuban cigar maker broke his second world record for rolling the longest stogie in the world.

Jose Castelar Cairo's recognition by the Guinness Book of Records was announced Thursday. It took Castelar five days to manufacture his record-shattering 14-metre cigar - a feat that far surpassed his first milestone: a three-metre cigar he and his buddies rolled in 1999 as a way to attract passing tourists.

"We never thought the cigars we were making would be for Guinness," said Castelar, who has been weaving together Cuban tobacco leaves for 43 years.

But he and his colleagues were inspired by the reception their first novel cigar received and decided to go for a record in 2000. They made it - with a whopping 11-metre cigar that earned Castelar his first Guinness citation.

He made his latest and greatest cigar last November, and proudly displayed both Guinness certificates on Thursday. Guinness officials in London could not be reached immediately for comment.

Castelar is a cigar maker for La Triada, a shop located in a historic colonial fort that once protected Havana from enemy invasions and pirate attacks.
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