I think you are right that things need to be separated. But what confuses me is that sailing, in the sense that US Sailing was created to organize and grow, does not seem to have grown very much, if at all for quite a long time. I haven't seen statistics, but I've been involved in the sport for my entire life and coaching at all levels for nearly 2 decades. While it seems demographics have changed (slightly, for the better!), the sport seems to be shrinking amongst active racers.The Olympics is primarily a for profit enterprise. The owners have BRILLIANTLY sold many people on the idea their should be games okayed to profit the owners and …. Oh yeah… give nations an opportunity to compete in games rather than wars.
Quite wonderfully, the athletes who get to qualify and compete enjoy a very special lifetime experience.
Having said that:
USSailing should be entirely focused on one kind of sailing just as the US tennis association is focused on one kind of court and ball game.
Badminton, ping pong, volleyball are each a lot more like tennis than Kiteboarding or Sunfish sailing is like PHRF or IOR.
A US Olympic sailing association might be a great service organization for those chasing the Olympic dream.
Such an association has no reason to dilute its focus and resources properly applied to Opti sailing and tri-Maran racing.
USSailing should be broken up into about ten different service organizations.
And if the Olympic stuff starts taking up too much energy from an individual class association, that association can realize it is sucking resources away from its primary mission and find a way to do its job DESPITE being an Olympic class.
In a world where most millennials and younger are seeking to spend their money on experiences and activities rather than more traditional (home, car, family, etc) "American dream" type things that their parents did, sailing should be an EASY sell. Further, with an increasing number of people shifting their location to be closer to lake or ocean coastlines (there are census numbers that show this), why are we not seeing the growth from the "community" based outreach that US Sailing has claimed to be focusing on in any of the seminars I've been to? Many clubs are struggling for new membership.
The issue seems to be more than US Sailing not having focus, being stretched too thin, or not having the resources. It really seems to be every issue all at the same time, which stinks of a fundamentally ineffective organization. It needs to be reimagined from the ground up.