Of all one-design classes, the Optimist class is used to a high drop out rate with sailors, aging, sizing, or maturing out the boat. So, despite this, and with such strength in numbers, how could they possibly be reporting a 550-member drop? I was told the USODA's board has discussed it at length, but is unable to pinpoint a cause.
So what to do? Maschal is of the opinion that the class, which mainly focuses on the racers, needs to do a better job selling to the kids who don't participate beyond their summer programs. They're discussing initiatives and programs, recognizing the need to embrace the class's recreational sailors, too.