I'm Not My Club Champion, Should I Go To This Year's National Championship?

Recently, one of our club's better B fleet sailors asked if it was worth his time to go to this year's Nationals.  They then expressed  concerns that they were not going to be in contention to win and thus maybe it would be better if  they just didn't get in the way.
Not go… That's Crazy!  Anyone and everyone who owns a model yacht and who enjoys the camaraderie of others who share this same interest should by all means  make it to their class Nationals.  A Yachting Nationals is not an event designed to determine who the country's best sailor is.  That's the Olympics.  In fact, except for the guy who wins and maybe the person who took second, no one really cares who wins, just that everyone had fun.  Way back when people started racing model boats, somewhere someone said, "
Here we have other clubs all over the country doing exactly what we are doing here.  Wouldn't it be neat if at least once a year  we could get all these other sailors together for one big event to share their ideas, stories, and insight in the sport."   And thus, the idea of holding this one big event  was born -- the Nationals.
It really doesn't matter if one is the fastest, or even the slowest sailor in their group… their attendance at a Nationals will not only help them improve their skills, but it will help the future of the class they are competing in and the longevity of the sport.  In addition to just getting on the water with a whole new crowd, ideas are shared, boat tips and tricks are exchanged, stories are told, and one makes new friends with people from all over who have a similar interest.  In past years attending National events, I had several offers to come  stay and sail with  other distant sailors next time I found myself in their area. 

Another advantage of attending a Nationals is that one tends to gain about a years worth of sailing experience in just one weekend.  Usually the big events have a lot more boats, and you sail a lot more races.  Thus, in just a very short time you get a lot more sailing with a lot more boats which you  start to adapt to by the end of the event.  Then, when you do go home to the fewer boats and races, things suddenly get easier. 

The more people who attend the Nationals,  the better the event.   The host club has more funds to do a better regatta and outside supporters will do more with the larger events.  The bigger events will usually lure all the sail makers, boat builders, fitting suppliers, and other interested parties.  This is the one opportunity to see their latest designs and to get their help first hand.  Most of these people are more than eager to answer all your questions and to help you in any way possible.  They usually donate or give away a ton  of cool stuff too.
Finally, if the rest has not convinced you to pack up the boat and head to this year's Nationals, then think of this.  The lucky sailor who wins the Nationals is said to be  the current year's best sailor.   Well, don't you think they should actually have to beat you before you just let them claim the fame?  So, don't not come because you are afraid you are in the way.  Make them earn it.  And who knows, on any given Sunday any one can win…. And you may surprise yourself.