Okay - now we're getting somewhere. It sounds like tradition, arcane and overly complex rules, and expense is killing the sport. So let's do this - let's take out the "middle". In other words, nuke all the club sailing - which is actually the most boring stuff to watch for a typical spectator anyway. Hell, let's even nuke the AC. And let's figure out what "extreme sailing" looks like.
I think nuking any midrange sailing would be counter productive. Covering it obviously wouldn't work but we still need it for ametures. Extreme sailing = extreme costs. One guy in the vendee race has 3 or 4 mortgages on his house to finance the race.
As for the rules, they are complex, but you can't do away with them. Maybe simplify them, but you need rules of how the game is played. The rules define sailing and any game/competition for that matter.
My point is that EXTREME sailing events like the Vendee or VOR are very similar to an Everest expedition. The story is just not being told very well in my opinion.
I agree completely.
So here's the next question - are the Vendee/VOR events extreme enough? Would they have to up the danger ante to make them more appealing? Or does a new race - that's just completely insane - need to happen - something that's the equivalent of summitting Everest.
I think the races have the excitement, its the story telling aspect of it that sucks.