I think you all are pointing out good obvious stuff...
Well, its hard to call it a B "fleet". In our group the amount of novice that usually shows up is less than 2, including myself.
Yes, there is less B fleet today.
CRAM leadership recognizes that the current balance of membership is top-heavy, with no base to support further growth.
Yes, there are a lot of vets, dedicated to racing.
If you want to go to a regatta and decide to just sail around, and not be involved in the racing. The only thing I would suggest it to stay within sight or let the RC know just so they know where to try looking for you if the need arises.
As an RC, I would hesitate to say, yeah, ok, we'll keep an eye out for you. This was my concern -- that no RC who has his hands full with the race course would not want the extra duty of watching out for newbies capsizing, having to pull off the course and rescue someone who turtled.
The guys running local regattas these days are mostly regular Joes, just like the folks on this forum, who have full time jobs but are enthusiastic enough about the sport to pour their volunteer time into the many exhausting details it takes to pull one off. They arrange for food, trophies, T-shrts (sunk costs), never knowing if the weather will be crap and no one show up. So while I agree that breaking into the racing scene is a little daunting, I don't fault these volunteer organizers for a lack of outreach.
+1. Any event or regatta is major work for the organizers. It's work and expense too for those who show. It is going to cost a minimum of $$$ for meal costs, time off work, gas costs, etc.
Contact the organizers ahead of time, and I'll bet you'll get taken care of... but I ALWAYS had a good time because I had the right attitude.
Division 10 post:
Finally, any Hobie sailor, regardless of skill level or experience, is always welcome to attend any CRAM event. To encourage this, first-time regatta fees are waved.
How about also saying: "For those interested who have not sailed a regatta before, you are more than welcome to participate. We give new sailors a small flag to attach to the clew and separate special instructions on running the course. Help from the club boat is available if you need it when you are on the course." As a newbie, I might read that on a NOR and think, ok, that sounds good; it's worth me taking a day off work, spending money on gas, paying a motel bill, etc.
It would be nice also if there was a dedicated sailing area, with a rescue boat parked on the beach just in case, for daysailors who weren't racing. "Stay in the zone and rescue boat is available." Kind of like a kiddie pool...