I've been following the discussion now for a couple of weeks, and thought I would speak on behalf of a smaller club in the region.
I 100% agree with Coby. Whether you are a small or large program, the racing has to be about the kids. We had a very positive experience at regionals last year. I appreciated the fact that I was able to race my kids in multiple events whether that was sweep, sculling, 1V or 2V- and feel that they were placed in events where the level of competition best fit them. Athletes in larger programs need to have that same opportunity.
Also, if the proposed schedule is adopted, I am not sure that the quality of racing would improve. Referencing Jason's message earlier, with heats, reps, semis and finals, most athletes would be racing 7 times in one weekend. That is a lot of racing! Would their level of fatigue effect the outcome? I'm not sure.
As for the diminished value of the medals...I don't know where that is coming from. We had athletes medal for the first time in a 5 year rowing career last year. It didn't matter to them if there were 4 entries or 12, all that mattered to them was the fact that their hardwork all season had payed off.
Bottom line, I strongly believe that this is a regional championship over a YNC qualifier and we are obligated to offer events at every level of competition.