You beat me to it I was just about to post the link.
Give me round the cans every time. The seemingly unstoppable rise of nothing but uninteresting formal courses at opens is why we’ve almost given up competing in them – even home ones. Some years ago we used to do four or five opens per season because they were fun, didn’t require the eight hour stamina of a top endurance athlete and finished in time for tea and cake (ref W Nationals in Falmouth ca.2000 or 2001). Now there has to be a very good reason for us to compete, although we still help organise for the masochists.
But we do love club races: easy to organise, all round the cans, start from the club line taking what comes from upwind start, reaching start, kite start, round the cans – course, wind, tide, waves, shipping and dodging stink boats that don’t know the IRPCS, watching the seals and cormorants, anticipating gusts and shifts from behind shore features and running aground of hitting submerged objects (maybe not the last one) followed by good cake and chat while we still have energy left. Every week has a different combination. Of course we like good results but good fun is more important.
That’s what a W is best for and maybe opens should have at least some of thee races in that format where the venue is suitable – maybe even “passage races”. Who knows – maybe some of the members that don’t currently compete may do so.