We should recognize that extrinsics significantly effect sailing and sailboat racing. As the population in the US ages participation is falling for sailing and most other active sports: skiing, golf, tennis, etc. Certainly the societal shift to a longer workweek and to the two earner households make time goblers such as sailing harder to schedule. Even our children's fully booked schedules makes it difficult for them to find time to sail with their family.
We should also look at what's working. One obvious bright spot is time-shared racing of boats like the Ideal 18, where the club owns and maintains the boats. These boats aren't particularly high performance but maintenance is farmed out, costs are reasonable, the vagaries of PHRF handicapping and the Portsmouth Yardstick are eliminated, and short courses ensure tight mark roundings. You just punk down your money and pick the night of the week you want to race.
A similar if less dramatic bright spot in our area is weeknight racing of the PHRF fleet. It has almost totally eclipsed weekend regattas.
Last edited by Hudsonian; 04-21-2009 at 11:27 AM.