There has been an ongoing discussion about the decline of racing - on Salinet (a few times) and on SA (most of the time). Many are trying to come up with ways to increase the interest and participation in the sport both here in the US and it worldwide.
The main question in this debate is: why the decline?
We pretty much quit racing when it got to the point that one needed to carry a copy of the Racing Rules in the cockpit to compete. It reached a point where, following every race, there was a 2-3 hour lag from finish to posting race results while Protest Committee's held their hearings, awarded redress etc. That plus the fact that there were always a few people willing to do anything to gain what they percieved to be an advantage without regard to the possible damage or injury they might cause to another's yacht or crew. We finally said the heck with it. When the sportsmanship goes out of the sport, it just ain't fun.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."