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In response to Steve’s thoughts earlier – personally I think that finding a way of introducing a few more opportunities for people to feel they might win something may encourage a few more boats out.
I think to have split starts would not be ideal (even just in terms of the sanity of the race officers, who most of the time do a really good job). However, having a couple (or 3) of fleets within the fleet may be a way of livening things up. Not sure of the mechanics of this, but I remember some discussion about it at a previous open we were at, so someone out there probably knows exactly how to manage it.
In terms of the distribution of silverware at the 2 opens you mention, I think both helm/crews sailed and won – so deserve the silver. I don’t think we should change things to take prizes away from people, but rather we need a way of adding a little more.