I've said this before ...
There are usually about 4-5 APBA offshore races here in SoCal, but the race with the most Offshore boats, the most sponsors, the most spectators is a race that the spectators only see the start and the finish because it is run OFFSHORE in the OCEAN.
That race is the Catalina Ski Race.
Why does that work? I don't know, but there is something in that model to look at.