Most of the posts in thread are conflating the success / type of UKWA racing events with development of the class. Of course that is part of development, but UKWA racing affects only a tiny part of the membership. Far more club race and far more still cruise, potter or hardly use their boat after the first flush.
We race partly because we enjoy it (we love it at club level but find it tedious at UKWA events and no longer go) but the main reason we race is social – it’s a social activity with like-minded people vying for the last piece of club fruit cake after racing in the midst of plenty of banter and war stories of the two-mile planing reach round the cans reach through waves.
So, the development of the class is at the club level by attracting new members into the club events and getting inactive existing members to brush the cobwebs of their unused boats by attracting them socially. It’ probably also to do with a good supply of secondhand boats and class starts. I don’t think it has a lot to do with the flavour of national events.
If UKWA spends any effort in class development, it should be in encouraging those who don’t go to national events (who are already the converted) and supporting clubs get critical mass of Ws to spin out as a class from the handicap fleets.