I really agree about club racing - the worst that can happen is that you spend a few evenings learning
about something you are already interested in with people you wouldn't usually socialise with. How bad can it be? Racing is often busy enough to give you an excuse not to talk about more than sailing to the odd individuals you decide are not gonna be your best buddies. Then move on. Sail with a different boat next week. Or at a different club. We all meet some oddballs at some point in our lives. Plus people fall over themselves to teach you everything they know if you ask. (Even if you already know it.)
Club racing also makes technical aspects of sailing have an obvious, immediate point no matter what kind of racing it is. Coaxing the best out of a boat is an excellent teaching discipline that turns out to be fun too(how often does that
happen? Of course, only do it with the level of seriousness that you
choose!). ... and for extra fun you're also more likely to find out what happens when things go wrong (broaching/lines parting etc) not just because everyone is manouvering and pushing things a teeny bit more than they would otherwise but cos there is all the more chance of making mistakes
in relative safety
(other boats; OOD; safety
RIB) when you are in something that feels like an urgent situation without really acffecting life and limb (except withsome extreme skippers) and trying to think fast and
get it right first time as you tack round that windward mark and the 45 footer behind you is protesting you taking their water
and... so then
when that inadequate-looking motor
fails out in a gale on your own one - no worries cos youve done it before.
You'll also very likely meet people who would be wanting crew for cruising trips too.
It is also (nearly) free.
College students note.