OK, before I piss anybody off, here's my take on this. All my life I've been involved with activities of one sort or another and people have worried in two basic ways. First - our [activity] is being over-run by a bunch of yahoos. None of us are going to be able to enjoy it.
An example of this is the explosion in the surf industry from when I started in the seventies and could go to places like Salt Creek and Trestles and have a peak to myself for an hour or two, to where I now see dozens on every little peak from sunrise to sunset at those same spots. I'm not telling where I go now to avoid the crowds; I'm sure they'll find me soon enough without my providing GPS coordinates.
Mountain biking used to be a solo pursuit for me and I was happy to occasionally see the odd mountain biker (and we are odd, make no mistake) on a hill-top somewhere. Some try and turn the growth that has occurred in this sport into a positive, talking about how the influx of new mtn bikers has resulted in more well-maintained trails, but I find myself seeking out new and more remote spots, that usually require me to drive further out into the wilderness.
The other worry is that our [activity] is dying out. Nobody appreciates it anymore and we need to save it.
Down with this sort of thing, I say.
I know it's a big dang ocean and I'm on not likely to run into too many folks out there, but I'm not convinced that more folks jumping in to sailing will make my sailing more enjoyable. I know it may bring our costs down; is that the hope? But I'm hard pressed to find other reasons to want to encourage the growth.
Maybe the racers want more competition? I can see where that may be a need.
Maybe I'm late to the party; prior to my recent arrival in the wind-powered boating world, there may have been a gilded-age, and some of what I'm hearing from you sailor-types, is similar to the surfer's taunt, "You should have been here an hour ago..." However, I'm happy with what I've found and I look forward to a lifetime of learning and experiencing all I can in the wide-world of sailing.
So, what's my point here? I guess that maybe we all worry about what's happening more than it requires. We have patterns in our minds and fit them to what's going on. The pattern with sailing seems to be, I love it, why is it not the most important thing in the world? People should be as focused on this as they are on [insert latest pop fad here]!
I also believe we fall prey to the illusion that we have a more significant influence over what's happening on this rocketship ride around the sun than we really do. We may be responsible for global warming as a collective, I believe that, however, life unfolds in the way it does and you can put yourself in the path of something major, but you probably can't make anything major happen if it's not gonna happen on it's own.
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