Re: race participation
I only started racing a few years ago and am now addicted. Some things that helped me get started: Mandatory non-spin events can make it less daunting. Pursuit races (with staggered starts based on your rating) can make the start a lot less intimidating. Also, if you can do anything to facilitate getting more experienced racers on the new racers' boats for a race or two that can help make the whole thing less intimidating. Also, they can't help but improve with the help of some more experienced racers.