Coastal Race format is bullshit designed to bring in participation by pandering to the lower skill sailors. Offer it, sure, just like the orr offshore courses at Chicago regattas but don't kill the competitive W/L race just to do it.
Last year the PHRF fleet was 3 white sail boats - this might increase participation.
So I discovered this evening when I went to the LORC site to register that ABYC Open "Regatta" this year is not running a full, two-day series of races for PHRF boats. Instead they are running a single "coastal race" on the Saturday only. This isn't worth the time, effort and resources to commit either of our boats to. This is unfortunate (we really enjoyed this regatta in past years), but there is not much we can do about it. Last year RCYC also moved to this format, reserving the actual racing for one-design and IRC boats. This is a worrying trend.
Perhaps LORC should drop the pretense and only run races for OD and IRC boats?
The only "Open" that seems to get a reasonable number of PHRF boats is QCYC.
The move is designed to try and help boost the PHRF participation. I think 2 years ago, they even killed off the PHRF fleet entirely. The entry into IRC can be daunting for someone with a Catalina 30 who wants to participate in his home clubs regatta. This gives him a low entry point, more relaxed race, and they get to enjoy the party at the end of the day with everyone else. One day makes it easier to secure crew commitments and is a good start for many people. The W/L is not killed off. You get two full days of it for the IRC and OD classes. Recently, (last 5 years), there has been very little to no PHRF participation at these events. Generally only 4-5 boats tops. RCYC rally race had a good handful, and seemed to be a success (barring the RC f'up). So rather than continuing to bang their heads against the wall, they are doing something to try and promote the racing. If you want to do W/L racing you can get an IRC rating, it is not that difficult, John is enthusiastic and willing to help you get measured or a temp rating. There have been a surprising number of smaller boats getting certs.