There are plenty of opportunities for people to race sailboats that are less about money. There are small strict one design classes where the boats are relatively inexpensive and from a performance perspective pretty much identical to each other when new or at least well taken care of. Modifications that can be made are severely restricted.
In fact if you just want to crew you can often do it for free if you live somewhere near where they race boats. Depending on the size of the boat and the seriousness of the competition, they will take people with no experience at all.