Cherub NSW state championshipy.
I count about 30 boats on the start line (or over it), seems a pretty good turnout. True, doesn't seem to be a dying class. But how many boats were there at the last state championship, and how many at the state championships 10 y ago? It never feels like a dying class until you slip below the critical mass.
But compare to NZ population,
Only NSW residents? Population 7.544 million.
So NZ should/could muster perhaps 17 boats if the class was "alive" in NZ, based on the same per population turnout.
Maybe it was also open to sailors coming from QLD and VIC as well? (4.69M and 6.53M, resp.) then on population basis NZ might have managed 7 boats... if the SI sailors could be arsed crossing the strait. Is seven boats enough to maintain a class? Kinda hard to believe so.
As good and fun as each of these classes are, I think we're still missing the point by looking at the classes. We need to look at sailing as a whole and say "how do we keep the youth, how do we grow this?" Rather than saying, "How do we grow the firebugs?" or the P-class, or even the optis, lasers and skiffs.
Rugby does well because there are no "multiple classes" of rugby. You can take your boots and your ball and go play, union, league or touch. there's no additional cash outlay, in fact, you can go play soccer with pretty much the same gear. Having the latest and greatest gear rarely makes you that much better than your peers. Eating more pies might.
You can't take your laser and go race with the cherubs.