The US stock market continues to celebrate the election of an anti-tax billionaire while the rest of us search for more substantive silver linings in the cloud that is a Trump presidency. One small positive for sailors came minutes ago with the announcement of new Education Secretary Betsy Devos to his cabinet; Devos is a sailor herself as well as a member of the multi-billionaire Amway-founding, Quantum Sail owning Western Michigan family that’s put so much time and money into sailboat racing over the past couple of decades. Betsy is wife to Dick Devos, helmsman of the big MaxZ Windquest as well as the Quantum Racing TP52 and Melges 32, but while he was messing around trying to be Governor, she’s been quietly and relentlessly pushing to radically change school systems for a long, long time. Whether or not you agree with the politics (and we do not – ed.), it’s always good to have sailors in high places and we wish Devos the best of luck with a tough job.
Unfortunately, that scintilla of good news comes with news of another appointment with potentially ugly repercussions for yacht racers in the Southeast; the lawyer who crafted Bush’s rules ending the last open era with Cuba was just named to Trump’s transition team. He’s called Mauricio Claver-Carone, and he ran a group vehemently opposed to Obama’s recent moves to end America’s closed-door policy with Cuba. Clearly Trump did something to run up his Latino vote in crucial Florida, and if the appointment of Carone an indicator that he’ll pay back the anti-Castro bloc with a hardline policy in Cuban relations, you’ll be very happy if you bit the bullet and raced to Cuba in 2016, because it ain’t gonna happen for at least 4 more years – if ever.
Maybe there’s time for one more race to Havana, before mid-January…
November 23rd, 2016