In response to Dan Nash (see Reader Rant US Ailing below)
, I would say that in order to get increased participation in sail racing
you first have to get kids interested in sailing. Sailing has to be
more fun than the Wii or Playstation II or III or whatever.
I taught sailing for a while (US Sailing Certified Small Boat deal)
and I can tell you that adults screw it up for the kids. The parents
all want their seed to be Olympic sailors by the age of 9 or they’re
disappointed. In that respect it’s no different than any other
‘little league’ you-name-it-sport. As a result, of every
100 kids we taught to sail Optis maybe 1 actually wanted to go racing.
The rest simply dropped out of the program. By the way, the kids hate
all the rigging, unrigging and repairs needed to keep an Opti on the
water, talk about UNFUN! And that’s not to mention the near drowning
experience of righting and bailing one out when they capsize.