Just over a year ago in the Regatta al Sol, racers from the Gulf Coast were getting scoped out by curious, high speed Cuban Navy patrolboats. For five days after leaving Pensacola, they had battled each other while divining the eddies of the massive 5 knot plus Loop Current pouring between Cuba and Isla Mujeres into the Gulf of Mexico. Steeled for the regatta’s endgame, they knew in their hot rum addled yanqui minds that Havana – that most exotic of the Gulf’s destinations – was now only a quick daysail away.
At that time, little did they know that a democrat named Obama would become President and start a movement towards dismantling a nonsensical Bush doctrine enacted in 2000. Bush had put real teeth into enforcement and jailing of sailboat racers and regatta organizers who only wanted to consume Havana Club Siete Anos a bit closer to the bottling source via several different races. Thusly the Gulf Coast’s Cuba racing traditions were run hard aground or pushed deep underground.
While yeah, Gulf Coast sailors are legendary in their appetites, but the whole idiocy of Bush sitting in the Oval Office and thinking that these sailors would smoke and booze their way into propping up a dictatorship is hilarious, albeit a badge of honor.
Now Havana beckons again. Exploratory race committees have already formed and the infamous stories are pouring out at the Gulf Coast YC bars – and the little Cuban bartender hots can finally rest assured that the inebriated promises of yanqui sailors returning to the city are for real.
– Troy Gilbert