Re: race participation
For our club's Weds. night racing series they have 1 spinnaker class, 2 non-spinnaker classes and a 'fun' class. This entails at least 2 starts which reduces the number of boats 'on the line' which makes the start a bit less stressful - usually. A little more work for the RC but we seem to think it is all worth the effort.
Re., the water balloon idea. While it sounds fun, the idea of leaving all those tiny bits of rubber in your water does not. They make those mega squirt gun toys which can shoot pretty far and will not leave litter around your waters.
Also, try to get 1 person on each boat to take pictures of their competitors while racing and share them with each other after the races. It is really impossible to get a good, complete picture of your own boat while you are sailing on it but pretty easy for someone passing you or whom you pass.
"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen
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