Thanks a lot for all the good advice. I have crewed on some pretty good boats, but I found that as rail meat you often learn very little about tactics. There usually isn''t time to do much explaining in the middle of the race, and most of the skippers are real type A personalities who don''t do a lot of "nurturing" of their crew. Although equipment won''t make me a better sailor, the boats here are all excellently equipped, and I''d rather have my handicap come from my sailing skills rather than the boat itself. I will probably leave the dacron main for now and replace the genoa.
I have read some good books on racing, and I especially liked Dennis Connor''s "Sail Like a Champion." But I do need to find something that focuses on light wind racing. I appreciate all the tips about taking advantage on puffs...basically to see these you just look for little ripples on the surface of the water, right?