I've heard comments that "the F18 class is too competitive", which refers a bit to the East Coast fleet, but I think is a bit of a misnomer as even the very best sailors in the class are extremely helpful and friendly!
I'd be curious as to why someone feels a class is "too competitive". Did they figure they'd jump right in and start winning regattas? That's a bit of a stretch unless you're world-class already.
No, sorry, everyone does not think you are special, and not everyone gets a trophy. Life just isn't fair sometimes I guess.
Perhaps those "too competitive" folks aren't the type to engage in any sort of conversation with those at the pointy end of the fleet. Or, only speak to them when they're obscenely busy or pre-occupied with stuff like practice, boat prep, etc..
While it is nice that the fast part of the fleet actively engage the noobs and slower folk, it's not a requirement... I've never been ignored when I had a question, and never refused to help those (very few) folks with less ability.
Why do I show up? Supporting the class. Getting boats on the line. Getting new people on the water (crew).
My expectations are modest: I don't train regularly, I don't drop truckloads of money into the boat, and I don't race every weekend. So I shouldn't expect to win over those that do.
I keep it civil (nay, fun) on the boat for the crew and participate in cruising / day-sail events as well for those who might not want to jump right in to racing (lack of experience, etc). Once they see sailing isn't rocket science, maybe they'll eventually buy the boat from me