Cuba -- Cuban cigar roller Jose Castelar Cairo,
65, finished rolling a a 45.38-meter-long (148 feet 9 inches
long) cigar-which sets the world record for the Longest
hand made cigar.
Photo By Javier Galeano, AP Photo (enlarge
photo) "I'm going to continue until I do one that
is the length of the Malecon" he said, referring to Havana's
famous 10-kilometer (six-mile) seafront promenade.
It's not easy, he said while handling the
custom-made tools of his trade. "You need a lot of concentration
and you've got to love what you're doing."
To make a traditional, 30-centimeter (12-inch)
stogie, Castelar said it takes him "just a few minutes."
"The technique is based on carefully choosing
and organizing the (tobacco) leaves into layers, in how you
deal with the middle part," he said.
"The real magic, however, is not just in
your hands, its in your heart." Sixty-five-year-old Jose Castelar
smoked his own 2005 record of a 20.41-meter-long (67-foot-long)
cigar, and vowed to continue to roll record-breaking creations.
Cueto had originally conceived the idea
of a 33 meter cigar, but changed his mind after he heard that
in Puerto Rico someone had made a 41.2 meter long stogie.
The huge cigar hand-made by Cueto meets
the standards of a figurative cigar and was made with first
class raw materials from the "vegas" of San Luis and San Juan
y Martinez in Pinar del Rio province, believed to be the best
land for tobacco growing in the world.
Cigars and other tobacco products are still
one of Cuba's traditional exports, bringing in some 400 million
dollars a year from sales in 150 countries.
Decked out in a traditional white guayabera, Castelar
explained he learned to make cigars when he was 14 years old.
But the athletic-looking sexagenarian said he limits himself
to smoking one cigar a day.
The previous world record of a 30.78 meters
cigar was set by US roller Wallace Reyes, during the 11th
Edition of the "Cigar Heritage Festival" in Tampa, (USA),
on November 18, 2006.
Formerly, the Cuban expert roller established
three marks in the famous record book for the longest
hand-rolled cigar; the first in February 2000 with
a 11.04 meters cigar, again in November 2003 with one of 14.86
meters long, and a third mark during the 2005 Habano Festival
with a 20.41m cigar.