Re: race participation
We have an annual event similar to CLucas', where we all sail to a harbor about 10 miles away. The pursuit start allows us to time it so everyone arrives in time for hors d'oeuvres, which are shared between boats on a big raft-up. Sometimes there is a prize for the best hors-d'oeuvres. (A cutting board? A chart placemat? An apron?...) To make the race more interesting, each boat is allowed to use their engine for a total of 20 minutes. We once surprised a competitor by sailing past him, to leeward, despite him running his engine full bore. To attract the interest of younger crew the prize for winning this race is a 3' long toy stuffed animal on a stand with engraved plaques showing the winning boats' names. They also enjoy the overnight aspect and the idea that there are other kids on the other boats who also want to swim or whatever together. We try very hard to come in second, so as not to disappoint someone else's crew.